Avoid phishing, smishing and vishing scams
You can avoid scams by spotting the signs of a fake website, suspicious email, or SMS message. Here are some signs to look out for:
- Incorrect or strange URL: The address in the browser points to an unknown website that isn’t familiar. If you’re trying to log into a website that you frequently use but notice that something seems different, double-check the URL, and go to the actual website’s web address rather than follow a link.
- Urgent request for banking information: Be wary of an email or website that pressurises you into providing sensitive information, such as a social security number or banking information. A real bank or business won’t ask you for your bank account information or your card pin number via email.
- Not a secure website: Secure websites encrypt your information to help keep your payment information safe. To find out if a site uses encryption, look for a lock symbol in the browser window. If you select the lock symbol, you can verify that a security certificate was issued to that site, identifying it as a legitimate and trusted website. Also check that the web address starts with https:// and not with http://.
- Misspelled words or incorrect grammar: Fake websites or phishing emails often contain several misspellings and incorrect grammar.
- Low resolution images: The images and photos might be of a lower resolution/quality than you would expect from a legitimate business.