Phishing is a way for criminals to attempt to steal sensitive information, such as credit card details, online banking credentials, business passphrases or passwords. This is done by sending fraudulent messages, usually via electronic mail, which are sometimes referred to as ‘lures’.
Phishing emails are designed to appear that they come from a real financial institution, e-commerce site, government agency, or any other service, business, or individual. The email may request personal information such as account numbers and emails. When a user responds to the email with the information or click on a link, criminals use this to gain access to users’ accounts or personal computer.
Phishing emails have been a staple for criminals to steal financial details from Australians since they were first observed in Australia in 2003, and have continued to become more and more sophisticated which is why it is imperative for all Australians to understand what phishing is, how to spot it and then how to protect yourself from it.
“We suspect an unauthorised transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below, and confirm your identity.”
The following is a list of brands that are commonly used to attempt phishing.
It used to be easy to recognise and ignore a phishing email because it was badly written or contained spelling errors, but current phishing messages appear more genuine. It can be very difficult to distinguish between genuine communications and phishing attempts.
Because of phishing, it is now standard policy for many companies to not call, email or text message you asking for the following:
Many companies now have security pages that identify active scams using their branding to help mitigate phishing. These pages often include examples and pictures of scam messages to help you tell fake messages from real ones.