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Phishing - Have you been a victom of fraud?

Phishing is on the rise again and the tactics being used are getting extremely sophisticated. Phishing is a method of trying to acquire sensitive information like usernames, passwords and credit card details in order to commit fraud. This is usually done through email correspondence but there are some tried and true methods of avoiding being caught in the net. The latest attacks are what’s called “spear phishing” which means concerted, targeted attacks against specific accounts rather than a large, blanket attack against thousands of accounts.

We recently received an email from a client saying that he was traveling abroad, had lost his wallet and was in urgent need of a loan to get him home. Now, we happened to know that he was NOT traveling abroad but the email was quite convincing. After a little research we discovered that his Hotmail account had been hacked and these scam emails were going out to everyone in his address book. What are some mistakes this client made to get into this situation?

•    His password was easy to guess, used everywhere and never changed. If only one of his accounts was hacked then the same user/pass combination would be tried on all the major social networking, email and banking sites to see if it works. ALWAYS use a different password for your important profiles!

•    He had earlier received a phishing email that asked him to click through a link to verify his account information, which he did. No legitimate company will ask you for account information in an email. If you’re unsure, always go directly to the site through your browser instead of clicking through from a suspicious email.

•    He used Hotmail instead of Bloomland’s own email system which is phishing and virus protected!