Phishing scams are typically fraudulent email messages appearing to come from reputable entities like banks, online resources and
credit card companies to direct you to a spoofed website or otherwise get you to divulge private information(e.g., passwords, credit card, or other personal information).
The attackers then use this private information to commit identity theft.
It is called phishing due to a long-time tradition to use 'PH' instead of 'F'.
It is to trick people into divulging account passwords or sensitive financial information.
This article describes strategies to avoid phishing scams.
Verify the web address and email address
Do not reply to emails that request financial information or save any document or attachment that come with spam mails, even if it appears to be from a trusted source.
Be very careful about not replying to any such spam mails that ask you to confirm or update any information about your account.
Do not open any links in suspicious emails, instant messages, or chat-room messages
Only communicate personal information over the phone or through a secure website
Real corporate websites use secure, encrypted web pages any time their customers are asked to send personal and financial information.
Look for "https://" in the web address. The "s" stands for "secure".
Also look for a locked padlock icon in the lower part of your browser window.
The locked padlock icon indicates the site is encrypted, which means your data is protected when you send it over the Internet.
If you don't see these signs, then the site could be a fake.
Enhance the security of your computer
Common sense and good judgement is as vital as keeping your computer protected with a good antivirus to block this type of attack.
Anti-spyware and firewall settings should be used to prevent phishing attacks and users should update the programs regularly.
Firewall protection prevents access to malicious files by blocking the attacks.
Antivirus software scans every file which comes through the internet to your computer.
It helps to prevent damage to your system.
Check your credit report and financial statements regularly
To prevent bank phishing and credit card phishing scams, you should personally check your statements regularly.
Get monthly statements for your financial accounts and check each and every entry carefully to ensure no fraudulent transactions have been made without your knowledge.
When in doubt, check
Many fraudsters use fear to trigger a response, and phishers are no different.
In common phishing scams, the emails warn that failure to respond will result in your no longer having access to your account.
Other emails might claim that the company has detected suspicious activity in your account or that it is implementing new privacy software or identity theft solutions.
If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, take your time and verify it.
Put the legitimate company’s name into a search engine to see if the website listed in your results has the same address as the company soliciting you via email.
If not, the solicitation may be a fraud!