An increase in phishing scams in a new world of data breaches

by Vicky Brien

Data breaches – unfortunately an all too common phrase we hear a lot in today’s media and news stories.

Just a few months back, Equifax reported a huge cyber-breach which leaked the personal details of around 143 million customers. ‘Unidentified intruders’ gained access to certain files such as names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driving license numbers. The list goes on.

Unfortunately, with such data breaches comes an increase in new scams that play upon the fear of these data breaches.

Phishing scam

Since the Equifax breach, thousands of people have been targeted through phishing scams, from bogus phone calls from scammers claiming to be from Equifax to phishing emails pretending to be a bank or financial institution.

These types of scams play on the fear of identity theft as a way to steal your personal information, impersonating companies or businesses who are there to help and protect you during a time of data breaches (which they’re clearly not).

They’re timely and apt in their approach, offering their advice on how you can avoid your data being leaked.  These types of fraudsters are experts in what they do, they know how and where people turn to for things such as financial advice, so they will appear to look like they come from trusted sources, even some pretending to come from Equifax!

To help you avoid falling victim to these types of scams, we’ve pulled together 4 top tips on what to do if you’ve received an phishing email or bogus phone call.

1. Beware of any requests for your personal or bank account details
An obvious one, but unfortunately it’s one where so many fraudsters catch people out. Don’t under any circumstances give your credit card details to a company you don’t know or have never heard about. If it’s not a secure site, then simply don’t do it.

2. Never fill out forms in emails
Excluding surveys and competitions of course, many phishing emails will use forms with their messages to capture your details. It may look secure, but it’s simply another tactic to get your information.

3. Do your research – know who you’re dealing with
If you’re unsure about a company’s name, do some research online and check they are who they say they are. Look out for any misspelling of company names and odd anomalies such as .co instead of .com

4. If you’re still unsure, use HooYu.  
Our ID verification service gives you the confidence to know who you’re dealing with in a matter of minutes. Our simple ID request will confirm the company or individual details for you and confirm they are who they say they are.

If you’re worried about phishing scams and need to check the authenticity of a company or individual, get in contact with us today.

Vicky Brien

Senior Marketing Executive