How to Avoid Being Phished or Spoofed
February 6th is Safer Internet Day, a time dedicated to promoting increased awareness of internet safety, including how to spot and avoid falling victim to online scams. Online banking with The Peoples Bank makes managing your finances more effortless than ever, backed by our team’s commitment to keeping your information safe and secure. Still, it never hurts to exercise extra caution when navigating the World Wide Web. Join us as we explore the most common online scams – phishing and spoofing – and learn how to avoid it!
Some of the most prevalent online scams are known as phishing (not the type with an actual pole and hook, but rather when criminals attempt to disguise themselves as a trusted institution) and spoofing. They may target you for your bank account information, or your account information with your favorite retailer or other online entity. Phishing scams can be delivered in various forms, from texts to emails to even phone calls, many of which lead back to fraudulent websites. These messages often come with a sense of urgency, such as detecting potentially fraudulent activity on your account and needing you to verify your financial information. Many times, they will ask you to “log in,” which is really just a disguise to steal your login credentials.
Spoofing happens many times at the same time someone is trying to “phish” to get your private information. Spoofing is the act of disguising a communication from an unknown source as being from a known, trusted source.
The best way to avoid these scams is to take a moment to understand how your bank chooses to reach out to its customers. First and foremost, most banks will never contact you to request personal or financial information, such as your account, routing and PIN numbers, login information or other sensitive information. Your bank already has all of this information and would never ask for it over a non-secure line of communication, like a text message or email.
Another way to spot a potential scam is the sense of urgency, a tactic used to scare people into taking immediate action that they will likely regret later. A credible financial institution would only take such extreme measures if they’ve already given prior notice of the issue well in advance.
Last but certainly not least, when in doubt, contact your bank or other entity being potentially spoofed directly to verify any claims! Banks will be more than happy to confirm the legitimacy of transactions and help investigate any suspicious activity, as it is in their own best interest to ensure security.
You can always trust The Peoples Bank to help protect you from online scams and provide reliable financial guidance on the road of life. Our team is just one call away to answer any questions or concerns you may have at 228-435-5511.