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What is phishing

When reading an e-mail or surfing the Internet beware of fraudsters who try to steal your personal data or money and usually both. Such fraudulent actions or schemes are called “phishing” (derived from the English “fish”), as their goal is to “fish” for your personal data.

How to recognize a phishing attack

New fraudulent schemes are appearing almost every day. You can learn to recognize fraudulent messages by familiarizing yourself with their main distinctive features.

Phishing messages may contain:

  • concerning or threatening information, for instance, closing of your bank accounts;
  • promise of big money with little or no effort;
  • information about deals which are too good to be true;
  • requests for donation from charitable organizations after news reports on natural disasters;
  • grammar and spelling mistakes.

Popular phishing schemes

Fraudulent use of well-known brands. Fake e-mails or websites with names of well-known corporations, banks and companies are used in these schemes. They may notify you about the victory in some contest, conducted by the Bank/company and request your registration details, password, PIN, card number etc., or inform you that you will be contacted by the Bank/company representative in order to help you with a computer issue etc. Similar fraudulent schemes appearing to come from the technical support service representative can also be used on phone.

Lottery scams. You may receive a message notifying you about the victory in the Bank lottery. These messages might even look like they were sent by one of the highest rank executives. Delete such messages without hesitation.

Rogue antiviruses and security programs. The following fraudulent malware is also known as “scareware” – programs which may appear to ensure your PC’s security, though in fact it is quite the contrary. Such programs generate fake notifications about various threats and try to entice the user into the fraudulent transaction. You may encounter them in e-mail, online announcements and social networks, in search engine results and even in computer pop-up windows imitating system messages.

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