4 tips to protect you from the latest online phishing scams
So much of people's lives is spent online, and scammers see that as an opportunity to score big.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - So much of people's lives is spent online, and scammers see that as an opportunity to score big.
The latest scheme involves Netflix, and millions of movie-loving users are now easy targets. An email is sweeping the world, tricking users into giving up their personal information.
"These guys are throwing out the bait just hoping you'll take it,” said Mindy Eaton with the Better Business Bureau. "They're using the Netflix logo. The email address looks like it's from Netflix."
The email says the user's account was suspended and prompts them to click a link to enter payment information to re-start the membership. The link is managed by scammers who want to steal your money, your bank information and possibly even your identity.
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself: don’t click the link.
"They catch you in a weak moment, and all of a sudden, they've got your credentials,” Steve Schardein said. “And of course, sometimes you don't notice, and they have a chance to use them to their benefit which is a problem."
Schardein owns Triple-S Computers and said scammers are becoming more sophisticated, and the schemes are hard to spot.
It’s not just Netflix. Scammers are posing as banks, utility companies, online giants like Amazon and shipping companies like UPS and FedEx.
"It's scary, and it's getting worse every single day,” he said.
Schardein said you should never open attachments or click links unless you’re absolutely sure where they’re coming from. You also can hover over links to get a better idea of where they will take you.
These tips are very important because opening attachments and clicking on links can infect your computer with dangerous malware. Be sure to look at where the email is coming from, but Schardein said phishers can mask email addresses to fool you as well.
Here are some other tips to protect your personal information:
- Trust your gut. If it seems strange, it probably is.
- Hesitate. Always check links and attachments before you click on them.
- Use email services with strong spam filters.
- Call companies directly to ask questions about your accounts. You can always do any necessary business over the phone.
"Sit and think about it for a second, and make sure you know everything is in line before you actually act,” Schardein said. “Because it's that action, it's too late once you click it in many cases."
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