email scams (phishing)
This scam involves a fraudster sending emails at random, often to thousands of people at a time. The email claims to come from a reputable company such as your bank or credit card company.
The emails try to trick people into visiting a bogus website, usually by claiming you need to “verify” or “update” your details or “reactivate” an account. The criminal will attempt to get you to disclose personal or financial information, which they will then use for their own fraudulent purposes.
Sometimes a phishing email doesn’t include a link, but instead encourages you to fill in a form attached to the email and send it back to the fraudster.
How to avoid this type of scam:
Be wary of emails that:
- are unsolicited and supposedly come from a reputable organisation, such as a bank or credit card company
- do not use your proper name, but instead have a vague greeting such as “Dear customer” or “Dear Sir/Madam”
- request your personal information such as username, password or bank details
- have addresses which do not match the actual website of the organisation.
- do not open or forward emails which you suspect might be being spam
- never visit a website from a link in an email and then enter your personal details, as the email could be from a fraudulent source
- be cautious about any unexpected changes to your bank’s website which involve you being asked for more information than you normally provide
- check the website address – the login page on your bank’s website address should start with “https”.
If you think you might have visited a phishing site and provided your bank account details, contact your bank immediately.