What is “Phishing”?
According to Phishing.org, “phishing” is the “process where a targeted individual is contacted by email or telephone by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure the individual into providing sensitive information such as banking information, credit card details and passwords.”
The use of phishing scams is relatively new and it is an evolving issue that impacts people of all walks of life. It is important to stay informed and know how to protect yourself.
Tax Collection. Scam-artists have taken to contacting individuals, claiming that tax payments are past due and making threats that a monetary fine or even imprisonment might be imposed if the fake tax bill is not paid immediately.
It is important for individuals to remember that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This scam can happen anytime, but it becomes particularly prevalent during tax season.
If someone has attempted to get your personal information, do not provide it and contact the IRS to report the scam.
The Nigerian Prince. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the “Nigerian Prince” phishing scam is one of the oldest, yet it continues to evolve. These scams involve attempted wire transfers where someone, who claims to be a government official or member of a royal family, requests assistance in transferring millions of dollars with the promise to pay the person for his or her help. The message is always of an “urgent, private” nature.
The BBB recommends that you never respond to these types of requests. If you have already responded, contact the U.S. Secret Service as soon as possible (by phone at 202-406-5572 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org), and then contact one of our attorneys.
Credit Card and Banking. Phishing scams often involve emails or phone calls that claim your credit card or banking information has been compromised. Do not respond or provide any personal information such as your passwords, security codes, Social Security number, address, date-of-birth or account numbers.
Contact your financial institution directly on numbers that have been provided by that institution (such as the number on the back of your credit card). Reporting incidents like these allows your credit card company or bank to better monitor the activity in your account.
Phishing.org has provided tips for preventing phishing scams. Some of the key takeaways from the list include making sure you stay informed about the most recent phishing scams.
Also, if you have received a phishing email, consider installing anti-phishing software on your computer. Also, make sure you have a software or hardware firewall between your computer and the Internet and keep all of your software up-to-date, especially your web browser.
Always remember to closely monitor your credit cards, bank accounts and credit scores and never give out personal information to unverified sources.
These steps can help to protect you from a phishing scam, but if you have already been the victim of such a scam, contact one of the internet lawyers at Helmer, Conley and Kasselman, P.A.
An Internet Lawyer Can Help
If you have been the victim of a phishing scam or any other cyber-crime, contact a New Jersey internet lawyer at the law offices of Helmer, Conley and Kasselman, P.A. today.
Phishing scams can have a devastating impact on the financial lives of their victims. Don’t fight these criminals alone and contact us today so we can work with you to try to recover your losses. We understand the technical and legal issues and we will work hard to protect you and your finances.