Most of us have received phishing emails, texts or social media messages that on the surface look like they are from a legitimate sender. They look like they’re from a bank, a courier company or even a streaming service, like Netflix or Disney+. While these emails are getting more sophisticated, there are ways to tell whether or not they are legit.
While you might quickly panic and click on the link they send you, but it’s important to always be careful about what you click on online. Is it from a reliable source?
What is a Phishing Scam?
A phishing scam is a fake email or text that looks like it’s from a legitimate source. The purpose of the message is to gather your personal information, whether that be banking information, passwords etc.
The email might say that there’s a problem with your account and to click a link to fix it. The link will take you to a site where you enter your password and possibly your banking information.
How to Tell if Something is a Phishing Scam
Check the Sender
Always check who the sender is in an email or text. Is it from what looks like a legitimate address or phone number, or is it from a Gmail or Hotmail account? These are clues that an email or text could actually be a phishing scam.
Look for Spelling and Grammar Errors
While on the surface, some of these emails and texts will look real, but if you look closer you may notice some strange grammar and spelling errors. Most big companies will not have these types of errors in their emails. This should be a red flag that it’s a phishing scheme.
Do You Even Have an Account with that Company
When scammers create these emails or texts, they’re casting a wide net – hoping to catch some people out. So, for example, if you receive an email from RBC saying there’s a problem with your bank account, but you bank with BMO, it’s safe to assume it’s a phishing scam. The scammers are just hoping that some people who receive it will fall for it. Even if you do deal with the company that “sent” the email, you should always be suspicious of these types of messages.
Get More Information from the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.
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