What is phishing?

Phishing scams are when a fraudster sends an email claiming to be from a legitimate company in an attempt to trick you into giving out personal or financial data. Phishers hijack brand names of banks, web retailers and credit card companies and send emails that ask the recipient to click on a link to update their details on a fake website.

How do phishers know which bank I am with?

Fraudsters send out thousands of emails at random with the hope of reaching a customer of a particular bank. Banks do not provide your emails to phishers.

How can I avoid phishing attacks?

  • Remember that it is highly unlikely that a company will have lost your account information.
  • Always remember that banks will never write to you asking for your password or any other sensitive information by email.
  • If you receive a dubious email do not click on links or attachments and contact a bank or company immediately.
  • Always type the bank or company’s address in yourself.
  • Check there’s been no fraudulent activity on your account.
  • Phishing emails often contain grammatical errors or spelling mistakes.#

Where can I go for help?

Bank Safe Online is the UK banking industry’s website for helping online banking customers stay safe online. You can also forward suspected scam emails.

At the eBay UK Safety Centre, you can find information on protecting yourself from phishing emails and websites.

Voluntary organisation Anti-Phishing Working Group has advice on spotting phishing emails and invites you to report suspect messages.

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