Don’t Ring In The New Year With Phishing Emails
As 2018 approaches, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has called upon citizens in the U.S. to be alert and on the lookout for new highly-sophisticated email, likely to be a phishing scam. They will be sending mass emails to swindle of personal information on the pretext of a tax refund.
Every day people fall victim to phishing scams because it is just as simple for cybercriminals to finish the task. All they do is simply ask the people to share their bank account information, password, social security number or credit card numbers. The most common method to steal information.
Beware of those emails that ask you to update your bank account details, the document they download and then upload on the cloud storage is fake. Recently there was another fake email that made the rounds when recipients were told that they have a $64 tax refund waiting on the IRS, and for IRS needs a little more information. So many of them fall victim to this fake email.
It’s not new that Phishing attacks use the malicious website or email to solicit personal, or financial information by posing as a credible organization. Often, recipients are tricked into believing the phishing communication is from a trustworthy source.
A scammer with enough knowledge gained from online research and with his earlier experience will design something that looks authentic. People will fall for it since it looks so authenticate. These aimed messages can trick even the most careful individual into taking action that may compromise erogenous data. Some phishing emails will look like it is a business friend or relation, may your friend’s email is compromised your and criminals are using that contact to send phishing emails.
So how to be safe from such attacks. As reported in ‘The Pyramid’
Be vigilant; be skeptical. Never open a link or attachment from an unknown or suspicious source. Even if the email is from a known source, approach with caution. Cyber crooks are adept at mimicking trusted businesses, friends, and family.
Thieves may have compromised a friend’s email address, or they may be spoofing the address with a slight change in the text, such as email@example.com vs firstname.lastname@example.org. In the latter, merely changing the “m” to a “r” and “n” can trick people.
• Remember, the IRS doesn’t initiate spontaneous contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes text messages and social media channels.
The IRS does not call taxpayers with threats of lawsuits or arrests. No legitimate business or organization will ask for sensitive financial information via email. When in doubt, don’t use the hyperlinks and go directly to the source’s main web page.
• Use security software to protect against malware and viruses. Some security software can help identify suspicious websites that are used by cyber criminals.
• Use strong passwords to protect online accounts. Each account should have a unique password. Use a password manager if necessary.
Criminals count on people using the same password repeatedly, giving crooks access to multiple accounts if they steal a password. Experts recommend a password have a minimum of 10 digits, including letters, numbers and special characters. Longer is better.
• Use multi-factor authentication when offered. Some online financial institutions, email providers, and social media sites offer multi-factor protection for customers.
Kevin Jones951 Posts
Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.