How To Spot and Stop Phishing Attempts

Robert BuheckerData Breaches

Phishers Steal Information

Phishers Hide in Plain Sight

One click on a suspicious link can send all of your social media profile pages up in smoke. Phishing is the act of deceiving internet users with fake links, websites, and more. Phishers have one goal, and that is to gain personal information from you for their personal gains. Phishing attacks look harmless, in most cases, a Phisher will replicate a social media profile of someone you are friends with and send you a request or message from that account, or, they can replicate an email address. In some cases, a phisher will send you a text message with a link and make it seem like they are a reputable brand. For those who are trusting, phishing can be dangerous to their online safety.

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Don’t Take The Phishing Bait

In some instances, phishers appear to be your friend’s and family. However, it is possible that these accounts were hacked or duplicated. When this occurs, a hacker can send links to contact and friends lists. Similar to fishing, phishers use real social media profiles and links as bait. When someone clicks and takes the bait, phishers then gain access to their profiles and information. It can result in the creation of fundraising pages, a collection of money, or gathering personal information. In other cases, a phisher can create a website that looks identical to an actual site and secure financial information, social security numbers and more.

Two nonprofits reported to Wired.com about a phishing scheme that rendered their accounts disabled. In one instance, the hacker of one of the pages managed to create a fake GoFundMe account and almost raised $1,500. In the second reported case, a phisher hacked the Page, which has more than 240,000 likes, and Facebook disabled their account. The page managers noticed the breach when they discovered a new page administrator. Regardless of the number of times they removed the administrator, they kept reappearing.

How did phishers continually target these two nonprofits and how can you prevent it from happening to you? It’s easy to spot, but first, you need to know how phishing works.

How Phishers Take Your Information Within Minutes

Since the phishing hack occurred with Facebook, then Facebook will be the example used. These are the steps a phisher or hacker will use to trick users into entering their information. The entire process can only take a few minutes for an experienced phisher.

  • Create a page that looks exactly like a Facebook login page.
  • Slightly change the URL to resemble Facebook (Facᣯbook.com, Faceb00k.com, Faceᗸook.com, or Facebook.co, etc.)
  • Phishers will copy the source code of Facebook or another site.
  • Backend code will store the information you enter into the fake site.
  • Phishers use HTTPS in their website domains. A study found 49% of phishing sites use HTTPS in their domain names.

Phishers continue to be smarter and their techniques continue to evolve to deceive internet users. First, trust your gut feeling. If a website seems slightly off, look at the URL. If you are still unsure, go to a website named Phishtank to check the validity of the link. The website will also update and inform you about new phishing sites and is constantly updated.

Are You A Victim of Phishing and Malware?

If you’ve unfortunately been phished or find malware on your computer, contact SecureForensics. Our dedicated team can help find and remove the threats on your computer. To start your free case today, call us at 1-800-288-1407.