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Warning: Increase in Email and phone Phishing scams
Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers.

How does this scam work?

A scammer contacts you pretending to be from a legitimate business such a bank, telephone or internet service provider. You may be contacted by email, social media, phone call, or text message.

Clues for spotting a fake email

The scammer asks you to provide or confirm your personal details. For example, the scammer may say that the bank or organisation is verifying customer records due to a technical error that wiped out customer data. Or, they may ask you to fill out a customer survey and offer a prize for participating.

Alternatively, the scammer may alert you to 'unauthorized or suspicious activity on your account'. You might be told that a large purchase has been made in a foreign country and asked if you authorized the payment. If you reply that you didn't, the scammer will ask you to confirm your credit card or bank details so the 'bank' can investigate. In some cases the scammer may already have your credit card number and ask you to confirm your identity by quoting the 3 or 4 digit security code printed on the back of the card.

If it's a phone scam there will be invariably a delay before they speak The scammer will usually have an Indian accent. In many cases they will ask eg "is this John Shmidt" if you say no, they will ask you for your real name. Important, never give them your name, just hang up.

Many scamers will claim to be from Microsoft or ISP technical departments, these are all fake. They will tell you have a virus and will ask you to give remote access to your PC, then offer to sell you an anti virus program to clear the problem, of course you will be asked for your credit card details, this is fatal, they now can proceed to clear out your bank account and steal your identity

Phishing email messages are designed to look genuine, and often copy the format used by the organisation the scammer is pretending to represent, including their branding and logo. They will take you to a fake website that looks like the real deal, but has a slightly different address.

If you provide the scammer with your details online or over the phone, they will use them to carry out fraudulent activities, such as using your credit cards and stealing your money.

Don't be fooled. Your bank or ISP will never ask you to provide unsolicited personal details via phone or internet.

Protect yourself

Do not click on any links or open attachments from emails claiming to be from your bank or another trusted organisation and asking you to update or verify your details – just press delete.

Do an internet search using the names or exact wording of the email or message to check for any references to a scam – many scams can be identified this way.

Look for the secure symbol. Secure websites can be identified by the use of 'https:' rather than 'http:' at the start of the internet address, or a closed padlock or unbroken key icon at the bottom right corner of your browser window. Legitimate websites that ask you to enter confidential information are generally encrypted to protect your details.

Never provide your personal, credit card or online account details if you receive a call claiming to be from your bank or any other organisation. Instead, ask for their name and contact number and make an independent check with the organisation in question before calling back.

If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
Ironically this reads like a scam.