How a scam works
A SCAMMER contacts you out of the blue pretending to be from a legitimate business such as a bank, telephone or internet service provider.
You may be contacted by email, social media, phone call, or text message.
The scammer asks you to provide or confirm your personal details.
Or they may ask you to fill out a customer survey and offer a prize for taking part.
Alternatively, the scammer may alert you to “unauthorised 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 authorised the payment.
If you reply, 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 three or four-digit security code on the card.
Phishing messages are designed to look genuine, and often copy the format used by the organisation the scammer is pretending to represent.
They will take you to a fake website which looks like the real deal but has a slightly different address.
Other phishing scams
Whaling and spear phishing – the scammer targets a business in an attempt to get confidential information for fraudulent purposes.
To make their request appear legitimate, they use details and information specific to the business that they have obtained elsewhere.
Pharming – the scammer redirects you to a fake version of a legitimate website you are trying to visit.
This is done by infecting your computer with malware.
You receive an email, text or phone call claiming to be from a bank, telecommunications provider or other business you regularly deal with, asking you to update or verify your details.
The email or text message does not address you by your proper name, and may contain typing errors and grammatical mistakes.
The website address does not look like the address you usually use and is requesting details the legitimate site does not normally ask for.
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 delete.
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.