Recently updated on February 22nd, 2023

We’ve all been doing a lot more online the past couple of years. While that’s made life more convenient, it also means that we’ve seen the highest rates of cybercrime ever, and there’s no end in sight. Some of those crimes are hacking or ransomware attacks, but many are phishing scams, which are digital cons and swindles.

Instead of forcing their way into your computer, cybercriminals that run phishing scams convince people to give away their information, which they then use to access accounts and steal money. Here’s what you need to know.

Email & Text Phishing Scams

Email and text-based phishing scams are one of the most prolific types of phishing scams out there. Criminals send an email or text message that looks legitimate and usually relates to something like a bank account, email account, or e-commerce account.

They often say there’s a problem with your account and provide a link to log in. The link directs to a fake page, and when you enter your information, it’s available to the criminals.

Natural Disaster Phishing Scams

Natural disaster phishing scams prey on people’s goodwill by directing victims to a fake charity website, where they are asked to donate to the victims of a recent natural disaster. When they do, the criminals behind the scam capture their information and have access to their accounts to steal their money.

If you plan to donate to any charities or funds to help victims of natural disasters, always go directly to a well-known charity website, double-check the URL, and make sure the site uses SSL and other security measures to protect your information.

Cryptocurrency Phishing Scams

Crypto is big news these days. Everyone from your grandma to your neighbor down the street will tell you they’re making big money from their coin. So, when you receive a crypto phishing scam, you might be tempted to follow the link to take advantage of the “offer.”

Sometimes, these kinds of phishing scams also try to target people who already have crypto, telling you that there’s a problem with your wallet. If you follow the link and log in, your account (and everything in it!) is lost. Instead, if you have a crypto account and you are worried that there might be a problem, close the email and go to the actual site to confirm.

Seasonal Phishing Scams

Another scam that is designed to prey on your better nature are seasonal scams. These are scams that capitalize on the prevalence of online shopping at times like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Scammers know that people are likely to be shopping online more, so they send fake “order” confirmations or shipping information, often for expensive items. Shoppers panic about the item they didn’t order, click the phony link and give their account information away by signing into a fake website.

Tech Support Phishing Scams

Tech support scams are a little different from other phishing scams in that they often use a combination of remote access software and telephone calls to scam victims.

A person claiming to be from a company like Microsoft will call you and tell you that they need to access your computer to make a security upgrade or something similar. They will convince you to run a remote access program that will let them take over and “fix” your computer. Once they have access, they can take over your computer, access accounts, and more.

How to Avoid Phishing Scams

You might think that phishing scams are easy to spot and avoid, but they just keep getting more and more sophisticated. Anyone could potentially become a victim to some of these scams, but there are some things you can do.

Don’t Open Email Links Directly

One is to never open any links in emails. Always go to your browser and type in the link yourself. That way, you can still address any problems if they exist, and you won’t have your accounts hijacked.

Train Your Employees Regularly

If you have a company and you’re worried about phishing scams, make sure that your employees know never to open any in-email links, and to report any that they find suspicious to management and your IT department.

Use Cybersecurity Experts

Another great idea is to hire a professional IT provider in Orlando, like Next Horizon, who can provide advanced cybersecurity solutions. A data security company can implement advanced digital security measures that will help to filter more phishing scams and other undesirable communication from your email inbox.

There will always be new phishing scams, but a professional IT provider in Orlando like Next Horizon is always up to date with the latest schemes and scams. So, if there’s any doubt if something is legitimate, you have someone you can call to find out.

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