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Do You Really Know Who You Talk To? Here Are 7 Phishing Examples To Watch Out For in 2019

One would think that everyone was tech-savvy enough to avoid phishing scams by now. As we stride into new digital ages, though, the work of scammers and hackers will only get more sophisticated.

It’s understandable that a few well-intentioned people would get tricked by digital thieves and crooks. It’ll keep happening, too. Phishing plays on the same human nature that Ponzi schemes, thieves, and bandits always have.

If phishing is going to stay, we have to adapt to it. We’ve compiled some phishing examples from the past year to let you know what you should look out for in 2019. Let’s get to it:


Phishing Examples to Look Out For

As you’ll soon see, it isn’t just unsuspecting individuals who get scammed. Nope, the tech giants and leaders of industry that take hits as well. It can happen to anyone, but what matters is that you know what to look out for.

1. Google and Facebook

A Lithuanian man slowly milked roughly 100 million dollars out of Google and Facebook, forging documentation that made him seem exactly like a manufacturer that the two regularly do business with.

He made exact replicas of email addresses, payment invoices, stamps, and correspondence in order to dupe the companies into regularly paying for computer supplies.

Naturally, the two companies didn’t want to release the fact that they had been scammed. In fact, they went to great lengths to keep it a secret.

2. Free Tickets to Large Events

Each year holds the opportunity to attend a few colossal events. The World Cup, the Olympics, the Superbowl, World Series, the list could go on.

Phishers like to take these events as opportunities to trick fans into thinking they have free tickets to travel to the games. There are also scams regarding the industries that benefit from those games.

Vacation rentals around large events, for example, are prime territory for scammers. In general, don’t open or respond to any email that claims you won free tickets, free rentals, or anything else that you didn’t enter a raffle or sweepstakes for.

3. Infiltrating Your Account

While most phishers communicate with you to get the information they want or need to take your money, some will actually hack into your email account to get a better grasp of your business dealings.

Once they’re at the helm of your ship they can steer it whichever way they want to. There’s been a rise in the number of account takeovers in the last couple of years. Unfortunately, one of the few things you can do to prevent this is keeping a close eye on your accounts, your correspondence, and make sure you don’t get any emails that seem to be responding to something you don’t remember sending.

4. Social Media

Hackers have long been present in the social media world. They’re getting more sophisticated as user behavior changes, though.

A phisher might create content that references real events or topics that you’re interested in. Recent events, even local ones, are sometimes mentioned, offering a degree of credibility. If a person seems as though they’re knowledgeable about the things you are, most users give them the decency of a “who are you?”

Sometimes simply responding is enough to get the ball rolling and open you up to a scam. It’s best not to respond to other users that you don’t know on social media.

If someone is truly interested in talking to you, they’ll make it clear how they know you, who your mutual friends are, and why they’re talking to you in the first place.

5. Urgent Emails

The most common attacks are ones that aren’t likely to go away soon. The lowest-level phishing scams generally involve an email that seems urgent and compels recipients to answer as soon as possible.

They might say that there’s a problem with your bank account, your PayPal has been infiltrated, or some other falsehood that is supposed to give you anxiety.

never click on any of the links contained in those emails. In fact, when you receive an email that is alerting you about one of your accounts, just delete it. That is unless you receive that message from the company that holds your account.

If you’re concerned that your information or money could be in jeopardy, just Google the phone number of the company you’re worried about and ask them over the phone. The email you received is most likely a scam if it isn’t directly from them.

When you reach customer service, they’re probably going to know exactly what you talk about. Email scams typically prompt a beehive of calls at the customer service call centers and representatives quickly become aware of what’s going on with the attack.

6. Personalized Attacks

A number of email attacks get very personalized. From the phisher’s point of view, the more they can convince you that they know you, the better.

It isn’t all too difficult to find a person’s information online these days, but how much information does a person need to fool you? Phishers will often use your address, phone number, position at work, company name, full name, and family member names to press you for information.

Companies should conduct phishing awareness training with all of their employees to prevent this activity. Charlotte IT Solutions has some great advice on how companies can do this.

7. Whaling

Whaling is very much the same as the personalized attacks listed above. In this attack, though, the scammer goes after one of the company’s head executives, even the CEO.

Most CEOs and executives aren’t required to take the phishing awareness training and don’t know exactly what to look out for in fraudulent emails. This makes them an easy target, and one that holds a company’s most valuable information.

Need to Boost Your Tech Game?

Hopefully, these phishing examples will give you some more confidence in your ability to avoid scams this year. The world of technology is always changing, though, and it’s important to keep up.

If you’re looking to stay informed on the latest and greatest in the tech world, visit our site to learn more.

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