Jargon Busting No. 29 – Phishing

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Phishing is fake fishing, so it’s spelt with a ph and not an f. Phishing is when someone uses an email or a fake website to get you to voluntarily give personal information such as bank account details and passwords. 

The emails and websites are often very convincing, they look real with logos and links that look authentic. But there are often clues that it is fake. The email may be be poorly written with spelling mistakes, the email addresses to send information to might be for a service such as hotmail or gmail instead of the name of the bank or institution. 

If you ever receive an email asking for account details and/or password information it is almost certainly phishing.  It is very unlikely that a bank or any financial institution will ever ask you for your account details via an email and they will never ask you for your password.

If you ever have any doubts about an email do not reply but instead pick up the phone and speak to someone about the email and the information you have been asked for. Sometimes speaking to an actual person can be a little tricky so head to the website of the company who is asking for information, there may be information about a phishing scam email. 

Some web browsers will warn you if the website you are visiting or a link you are clicking on is a suspected phishing website or link, it is a good idea not to ignore these warnings.  If you ever have any doubts about giving out your personal details, then don’t, trust your gut. 

If you think you may have given your details to a scammer make sure you bank or financial institution as soon as possible and let them know, they will help you make sure your account is secure. Remember that they want to keep your account safe as it helps them keep their other customers safe. 

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