Have you ever received an email or phone call from someone who needs to speak with you about your account, loan or warranty? They typically claim to be with a company, such as Apple or Microsoft. Or maybe you have been browsing the internet when all of a sudden a message pops up that your iPhone, Mac or other Apple device has a virus? Chances are you were the target of a scam.
Scammers try to trick people into sharing their personal information. They send fake emails, use pop-up ads, text messages and phone calls. They disguise themselves in a way that it appears they are who they say they are.
Companies will not contact you and ask for your personal or account information over phone or email. So if you receive a call or email from someone and they are asking for any sort of sensitive information, it is most likely a scam. Hang up, delete the email.
These signs can help you identify phishing scams:
- The sender’s email address or phone number doesn’t match the name of the company that it claims to be from
- Your email address or phone number is different from the one that you gave that company
- The message starts with a generic greeting, like “Dear customer.” Most legitimate companies will include your name in their messages to you
- A link appears to be legitimate but takes you to a website whose URL doesn’t match the address of the company’s website
- The message looks significantly different from other messages that you’ve received from the company
- The message requests personal information, like a credit card number or account password
- The message is unsolicited and contains an attachment
We all like to think we wont fall for a scam, but life is busy. Here are a few tips that will help you to avoid falling for scams.
- Never give out your personal information over the phone or in an email: account numbers, passwords, credit card information, etc.
- If you receive a suspicious call from a familiar company, hang up and contact the them directly on a number you know to be theirs
- Never click the links in suspicious emails
- Verify the senders email address or contact the sender directly to verify it came from them
- Avoid clicking on pop-ups or contacting the number they provide, simply navigate away from the page or close it out
You’ve fallen for a scam, now what?
The steps to take after you have fallen for a scam depend on what kind of information you gave out.
- Change your passwords
- Cancel credit cards
- Contact the real company to let them know and to find out what steps to take