Phishing ScamsHave you received phishing scams lately?  If so, do you know how to protect yourself, your identity, and your accounts?  Within the past week, I’ve received four email phishing scams: two from what looked like they were from Amazon.com and two different ones from an individual I know.

What is phishing?  Phishing is the most popular and widely used method for hacking email, bank, and other accounts to gain usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as someone or some organization you trust.

In the case of Amazon, I received an email saying that my order placed on Oct. 1 had been cancelled, and it listed some items.  I had placed no order.  I knew one of two things had happened.  Either someone had broken into my Amazon account, or more likely, someone was sending a phishing scam.  I did NOT click on any of the links in the email because that is what these malicious people are hoping for.  Any number of bad things could have happened if I had done so.  Instead, I typed “amazon.com” into the address bar in my browser and checked on my account, which showed no orders.  Therefore, this was a phishing scam.  I looked for a way to notify Amazon about this.

The second two emails were seemingly sent by someone I know.  They said the person was mugged in a foreign country and needed money.  I just deleted these phishing scams.

These are just the type of security issues Matthew Hile will be talking about in his free Online Self-Defense class on Sat., Oct. 20.  It will be well worth your time to attend it.