Posted on December 28, 2018 at 10:17 PM
According to a new warning issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on December 26th, a new wave of phishing attacks has arrived. The statement says that scammers are attempting to trick people into giving away their private information by posing as Netflix, and likely other well-established services.
The FTC has also mentioned that even the Ohio police received one of the phishing emails which attempted to steal users’ login and payment data. The message is claiming that their Netflix account is on hold due to billing information issues. The victims then receive a link which usually takes them to a fake page that seemingly looks like the one operated by the service scammers are trying to mimic.
By attempting to log in, or provide the “service” with their data, users can reveal information that is then either sold to other parties or used for stealing money or identity theft.
That is how phishing attacks work, and the new wave seems very similar to attacks previously witnessed in late 2017. While the scams can be successful at times, there are ways to uncover whether or not the email from an alleged service is real or not.
How to recognize phishing
The FTC has mentioned this as well in their warning, stating that users who believe that they might be a target of a scamming campaign should check by contacting the company directly and asking for confirmation. However, users should keep in mind that the phone number that arrives in an email might be a fake one, which will put them in contact with the scammer instead of the real company.
Other clues that something might be wrong include poor spelling and grammar, the lack of users’ name in the email, or different spelling of certain words, and alike.
Finally, the FTC advises users to forward all phishing emails to an FTC-owned email address email@example.com, as well as to firstname.lastname@example.org, which is an address used by an anti-phishing group that includes law enforcement, ISPs, and other professionals. Furthermore, it is possible to report all scam attempts on ftc.gov/complaint. After reporting the scam to the authorities, it is also advisable to notify the company or a person that scammers are trying to impersonate.
Information security is one of the top priorities during users’ browsing sessions, which is why it is crucial to raise awareness of issues like these. By clicking on links in a phishing email, it is easy to lose sensitive data to scammers and hackers. Even worse, it is possible to download malicious software and experience issues over a much more extended period.