Phishing attack is a prevalent cybercrime which can take various forms.

What is phishing attack?

Phishing attack is a prevalent cybercrime which can take various forms. The attackers steal important information of the users through emails, websites, text messages, or other forms that appear to be legitimate.

Phishing emails and text messages

Hackers send emails or text messages impersonating organisations such as the government, banks, online payment service providers, online retailers or business partners, with links or QR codes directing to phishing websites which look like the genuine websites of relevant organisations, tricking the recipients into inputting login passwords, personal information, credit card details, etc.  Hackers may also attach links, QR codes or files in emails or text messages.  If the recipients click on the links indiscriminately, their devices may be infected by malware.

Phishing Website

Phishing website is another usual way to initiate phishing attacks.  Hackers create a fraudulent website that looks similar or even the same as the legitimate one in order to steal users’ login details and personal data.

How to identify phishing attacks?

Pay attention to the email header of the sender. Check if there is anything unusual regarding the domain of the email address.

The subject includes wording “the account will soon be suspended”, exploiting recipients’ anxiety to lower their guard.

The email content is inconsistent, with grammatical or spelling mistakes.

The email contains suspicious links, QR codes or attachments.

The domain of the fraudulent website looks very much like that of the official website (e.g. the number “1” is replaced with the letter “ I”)

Some of the links on the fraudulent websites may be broken.

Security tips

Do not open unknown emails or messages

Check the sender’s details carefully

Do not click on the hyperlinks in suspicious emails or messages

Do not log into websites that are not verified

Pay extra attention if the websites ask for personal or credit card details

If you suspect that you have fallen prey to a scam, save relevant emails or messages and report the case to the police.

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