Kirkpatrick & Hopes - Succession Planning Accountants

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Phishing? Avoid taking the bait!

Keeping you safe online is very important to us. We’re aware of the increasing number of phishing scams that are targeting the customers of banks and other large companies.

What is a phishing scam?
A phishing scam is when malicious emails target customers by pretending to be from a legitimate company, using email addresses that look very similar to the actual company emails.

They’re not targeting the bank and company websites, but rather your login and access details.

These emails are designed to trick you to enter your email and password that they can use to login to the original site or use your password for another site. Whenever you enter your username and password online you should check that you’re actually on the right site.

As online fraud continues to grow, we’ve put together some advice to help you.

How to avoid being phished:

  1. Verify the email address

If you receive an email address prompting you to login or send personal details, always check the email address it’s coming from. Make sure it matches the other emails you’ve received from that company.

  1. Don’t click on a suspicious link

Always check the login link they provide in the email. Usually a quick look at the URL will tell you if something is off. Large companies and banks will have secured websites – this means their URL will say “https” instead of “http”. This is an important difference as it means you’re on a secure site. You can always skip the link and navigate to the login site on your own. That way you know you’re logging in to the correct site.

  1. Badly Worded

Watch out for emails that are poorly worded, spelt badly or that begin with ‘Dear valued Customer’ or similar. A genuine email should contain your name.

  1. Reach out and ask

If all else fails, send the email to the customer service department of the company in question and ask if it is legitimate. Your vigilance could alert them to a problem affecting multiple customers.

If you think you’ve been phished for any site, login and change your passwords immediately. You should also contact the company to let them know your account may have been compromised. It’s better to let them know before any damage has been done.

If you want to report any instances of online fraud please visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

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