5 Most Common Types of Phishing Scams

Hackers are always hunting for new ways to try and trick victims. Over many years, we’ve seen multiple types of phishing scams and in this blog, we go through the 5 most common, that you might see on a weekly basis.

Email Phishing

Email Phishing is the most common type of phishing scam. Cyber criminals send out emails to victims, with the aim of getting them to click a link to a malicious site or fill in their personal information.

The reason why these emails catch people out is because they’ll be disguised as an email from a big named company, for example, Santander bank.

There are simple ways to spot whether an unexpected email is a phishing scam. If you’re unsure how to identify one, we highly recommend taking a look at our guide.

Spear Phishing

Spear Phishing is another type of Email Phish, however, it’s a bit more advanced.

One difference is that the hackers will have more information about you and the email itself will be targeted towards you. This makes them more believable and catches more people out.

This example is also known as whaling. This scam attack involves the hacker impersonating someone from the victims organisation (Their manager). This might cause the victim to feel a sense of urgency to fulfil the request.

The best way to avoid these scams is to get confirmation from the person. If the email your receive is unconvincing and unexpected, message them on a different platform or create a new email message and ask if it’s truely them that just sent you that request. 

Smishing (SMS Phishing)

SMS Phishing is similar to Email Phishing, but involves text messages on mobile devices. You may have received random texts before, and some times they don’t make sense.

Very common ones you see today say something like: “You have a delivery that is unpaid for, press this link to receive your parcel.”

Of course, you probably haven’t ordered anything at all, but if you have, it might make you think and it could trick you into pressing that malicious link or inputting payment details.

Pop-up Phishing

Pop-up Phishing is exactly what it says it is… a pop-up!

You might see these on unsecure websites. They’ll pop-up and cover majority of the page. They’ll be bright and do anything to get your attention, commonly known to say things  like you’ve won a prize or competition, click this button to claim your prize.

The button then links to a fake page where you input your details in-order to claim your prize, and just like that, the hackers have your information.

As the famous phrase goes, “It’s too good to be true”. And if that prize you’ve won is too good, it’s defintely a scam. Don’t click the big shiny button….

Angler Phishing

Angler Phishing involves the use of social media, such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Scammers will disguise themselves online as big named brands, such as PayPal. These fake accounts go around and reply to customers who are trying to contact the legitimate account.

Victims might not realise that the account replying to them is fake, and they’ll end up giving them personal information through links or digital messaging.

One way to avoid these scams is by looking at the accounts actual “@”. In this PayPal example, their name is ‘@AskPayPal_Tech’ which is a lot different to the legitimate PayPal account.

Never get caught out by a phishing scam again

At Reformed IT, Our clients receieve cyber security training, to make sure they never get caught out by a scam.

Take a look at how Cyber Secuirty training can help your employees.

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