Phishing is when a cybercriminal uses email to trick you into giving them private information or taking a dangerous action. The consequences of falling for a phishing email can have catastrophic consequences. According to the FBI, phishing schemes were the number one crime type with 300,497 complaints and, for the first time, investment schemes reported the highest financial loss to victims. In 2022, the Internet Crime Complaint Center received a total of 800,944 reported complaints, with losses exceeding $10.3 billion. Protect yourself and your organization by learning to track down these signs of phishing emails.
Phishing emails often appear to come from someone you know or trust. But they can also come from unknown senders. Always check the sender’s email address and make sure it matches the trusted source’s email address. When in doubt, reach out to them directly through a known, valid contact method.
Phishing messages often urge you to take action immediately, implying that something negative will happen if you don’t. Alternatively, they may tell you you’ve won something, like a gift or money. These messages are meant to get you to take action before you think.
Always stop and think before taking action. Does this request make sense? Were you expecting this communication? Does the contact information look reliable?
One of the most common signs of phishing is the request to open an unexpected link or attachment. Malicious links or attachments can be used to steal your login info or other data. Never open links or attachments from unknown or untrusted senders.
“Cyber-enabled crime has been around for many years, but methods used by perpetrators continue to increase in scope and sophistication emanating from around the world,” said FBI Springfield Field Office Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “The FBI faces this threat head on by working with our law enforcement and private sector partners, educating the public, and assisting victims. When individuals and entities report incidents to the IC3, they provide valuable information that helps fill gaps crucial to advancing our investigations.”
Before taking an action, stop, look, and think!
Does it seem suspicious, out of place, or just strange? Then report the message and delete it immediately!