Don't get caught by Phishers

Phishing

The dictionaries can hardly keep up with the words coming from new technology. One of them is phishing, which sounds like fun but is far from it.

Phishing is a scam that tries to trick you into providing personal online information such as passwords, bank details and payments to legitimate sources. Once the “phishers” have your details, they can steal your money, or even use your identity for their own gain – and your loss.

Knowing how to spot a phishing expedition online will help ensure you're not caught.

Phishing is usually activated through a phony email. It often looks like it's coming from your bank or other trusted sources. It often suggests you need to reactivate your account, your account will be closed, or you need to claim a prize. With logos and corporate-style wording, it looks legitimate.

So how can you tell if it is?

Firstly, don't trust emails from someone you don't know. If it's legitimate and important, they'll ring you.

Banks rarely ask you to verify anything online.

Many phishers don’t have English as a first language, so look for poor spelling and grammar, and the quality of logos and other images.

Look at the email address it's coming from. It might have a bank name in it, but often along with something else, for example, anzguest, or bnzinfo.

If it's not addressed to you personally, ignore it.

If you're asked to click to a website, beware. Look for https in the url – the 's' means it's secure. Just http is not secure, so don't go there. However, even https doesn't guarantee authenticity, so remain wary.

If you do feel you've been caught because you've clicked through and provided details in good faith, notify the appropriate organisation, such as your bank, or shut down your browser, restart and change your relevant password immediately.