Phishing Email Scams
Phishing is one of the most common types of scams. You get an email that looks like one you've received from a company or individual before... everything looks authentic… same logos, same color schemes, same format… but it’s not from that company. It’s from a scammer and it’s requesting something as simple as a password change. You click a link and follow instructions and before you know it, a fake company now has your information.
How do you avoid a phishing email? Be cautious of clicking links. If you receive an email... even if it's from a familiar source... double check before you click. Go directly to a company's website to do things like change your password or update payment info or if it's from someone you know, call them to confirm the link is real before you click.
Fake Software Updates
“Update Adobe Flash”… “Install a Plug In”… “Download the Latest Version”… Pop-ups can be alarming, but you should NEVER CLICK ON THEM. Scammers use pop-ups to lead you to a page where they can collect your information, install viruses on your PC or even lock you out of your computer and demand a ransom.
If you get a pop-up, X out of it immediately. If it’s something you think is needed on your computer, research first and always go directly to the source before you try to download anything. If you need to download the latest version of Flash, go to Adobe’s website to get your download and information about installing it.
Online Shopping Scams
You're eyeing an adorable dress on Facebook's new feed and it continues to show up when you're scrolling, but you don't recognize the vendor. It's probably just a small business, but be wary of website and ads for companies you're not familiar with. Fake links and websites are easy for scammers to create. You might think you’re going to a cute online boutique, but you’re actually giving all your personal info, including your credit card number to someone who will abuse that information.
The best way to avoid online shopping scams is to be diligent about where you shop online. Only shop on websites that you know are legitimate and have been proven safe. You don't have to avoid small businesses online altogether, but research the organization before you buy and always go directly to the site, rather than clicking a link.