Top 5 Online Shopping Tips – 4/5

Tip 4 of 5
Be wary of Phishing emails.

As there will be a huge increase in the number of online transactions being placed and parcels being dispatched and delivered all over the country for Christmas, the fraudsters will be increasing their efforts and the number of Phishing emails floating around cyber space will also increase dramatically.

A Phishing email is simply an unsolicited email received that is asking for personal information or details.  This can be done by directly asking for you to reply to the email with the requested information, trying to get you to click on a link within the email and open a webpage that may either contain a virus or again ask for you to enter personal information.  Effectively a fraudster is trying to fish (Phish) for details they can use for either fraud or identity theft.  Most Phishing emails are very obvious and easy to spot in an instant.  Unfortunately sometimes they are not so easy to spot and tens of thousands of people get caught out by them every year.

Common Phishing emails include some of the following:-

  • Emails from couriers or parcel delivery companies saying there has been a problem with delivery, please click on the link within the email or ring a premium rate telephone number for it to be redelivered.
  • Emails supposedly from your bank or building society stating that they are doing some routine security check or updating the information they have on file or that an attempt has been made access your account and you need to contact them urgently.  Again these generally contain a link within the email to click on and will attempt to get you to enter your account details or passwords.
  • As many people will be sending emails to friends and relatives for Christmas, and may be trying to save on postage or reduce the amount of paper or card consumed each Christmas, digital e-cards will be more popular than ever and again, there will be may fake or fraudulent Christmas greeting e-cards potentially containing viruses or malware.  If you intend to send e-cards to friends or family, it is usually best to just send them a quick standard email first, letting them know that you are about to send an e-card.

These are just a few examples of the many different types of Phishing emails circulating around.  There are new ones being thought up every day and it would be impossible to try and list them all but stay vigilant and don’t open any emails that you suspect may be a Phishing email.  It is also a good investment to install a good anti-spam program onto your computer, as this will help eliminate the vast majority of Phishing emails.

PC Care - Scam Email 1

Scam Email Sample 1 (click to see larger image)

PC Care - Scam Email sample 2

Scam Email Sample 2 (click to enlarge)

Check back tomorrow for Tip 5

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