Majority of identity theft cases result from a form of cyber crime. Phishing is the most common type of cyber crime that consumers fall victim to. In essence, phishing is the creation of a fake internet portal that imitates a real one. These phishing scams exploit a particular website and criminals can steal personal information, credit card numbers and other information required to steal a person’s identity. online credit protection is the only way to prevent you from becoming a victim of phishing scams.
How a Phishing Scam Works
Most phishing scams start by an email sent to potential consumers threatening an urgent event. These events can include closing their account with a company, or an offer for a free gift, or even a pre-approval for a sweepstakes. These scams will encourage a victim to visit these websites, which appear to look just like a normal webpage, and require these consumers to enter their personal information into the site itself.
There are cases where you do not have to enter any personal information. By just visiting the site or logging in, you can give these cybercriminals exactly what they need. Once they have your log-in information, they can visit the actual site and log-on to your account and steal all of the needed information.
Most of these websites that these cybercriminals imitate are sites like EBay, Amazon, or even your bank’s website. It can be almost impossible to tell the difference between a fake or real site; therefore consumers need to take precautions to avoid this in the first place.
How to Identify Phishing Emails
The only way to protect you from phishing is to be able to identify a phishing email to begin with. Identifying these emails is an important step for online credit protection that every consumer needs to be aware of. The following are obvious signs you may be reading a phishing email:
• Poor Grammar and Misspellings – Most phishing emails originate from the United States, but there are other countries that can be involved as well. Most of the people that create these phishing scams have poor English skills. A legitimate company, on the other hand, would hire a skilled individual to write their marketing and notification emails.
• Odd Addresses – If you notice a strange web address attached to your phishing email. If you get an email from your bank or other financial institution, the web address should contain an “https”. Before you click on a link to determine the address, simply place your mouse over it and read the address that appears at the bottom of your email browser.
• Security – A company that uses personal information will have a SSL certified site. To know that your site is SSL secured, you should notice the address starts with “https” as well as there being a locked padlock at the bottom of the browser. To effectively perform online credit protection, consumers must recognize whether or not their suspicious emails contain either of these items.
• Impersonal Wording – If you receive an email stating “Dear Customer” or “Dear Sir/Madam”, then you should be cautious. A legitimate company will use your real name, rather than impersonal wording. Most of these emails are mass generated and sent to just about any consumer email address they can find. This is how they are able to bait their victims.