Third Party Phishing Scams
What Is Third Party Phishing?
At the most basic level, phishing is the devious practice of using emails to trick people into giving out their personal information. The personal information they collect includes things like your date of birth, social security number, phone number, credit card numbers, home address and password information.
Using this information, phishers can take control of your email, hack into your bank accounts or credit cards or even steal your identity. These emails are cunningly crafted to look authentic and thoroughly mislead you. The people who write and send these emails are relying on you simply reacting to the message without examining it. But, if you take a moment to look closer, it is easy to expose phishing emails as the frauds they are.
How to Spot a Phishing Email
In order to spot a phishing email, you should first check the email address it was sent from. If it was sent from a generic public domain, such as email@example.com, it is most likely not from an authentic third party source, because anyone could own a generic email like that. Also check if the domain name is spelled correctly. If you receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org, it is most certainly suspect because work is spelled with an additional “r”.
Another indicator you have a phishing email on your hands is grammar and spelling errors. If the email has typos or even just sounds awkwardly written, it might be a sign that it’s a phishing scam.
You should also be on the lookout for suspicious links or attachments. An email from a genuine third-party source will not give you a link in order to enter your bank account or credit card. Instead, they will ask you to log in to their website in order to enter that information. Plus, you should never download an attachment from any source you cannot verify or do not know.
Lastly, a phishing scam will often try to create a sense of urgency by insisting you do something NOW or else it will be too late. Don’t allow yourself to be swept away by this. Instead read the email through, inspecting it closely to determine if it is from an authentic source.
What to do If You Get Phished
Even when you do your due diligence, it is still possible to be tricked by a phishing scam. If this happens, you should take action immediately to protect your finances and your credit. You can start by filing a police report and telling them you are a victim of a fraud crime.
If your bank account or your credit card has been compromised, contact your bank or credit card company. If a loan is taken out in your name, contact the lender directly and provide them with the police report. The lender will also ask you to complete an identity theft report. While your application for discharge is under review, you won’t be held responsible for payments.
Then, report the fraud to each of the big three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion so they can freeze your credit. You should also report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). All new cases of fraud can be reported directly through ReportFraud.FTC.gov.
Last but certainly not least, change all your passwords to your bank accounts and credit cards and enable two-factor authentication to make it more difficult for scammers to get into your accounts.
Stay Safe with Heights
With 3 billion fraudulent emails being sent out every day, it’s not surprising that many people fall prey to phishing scams. But armed with a little knowledge and observation, you can protect yourself, your credit and your identity. And at Heights, we make sure your information is safe so you don’t have to worry about it getting into the wrong hands. That way, you can have important financial resources and peace of mind with a Heights loan or debt consolidation. So, if you ever have any questions about our services, feel free to contact us or visit your neighborhood branch today.