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If you have a smart phone, laptop, or email address, then you have probably heard the term “phishing scam” being thrown around in conversation. But do you know what a phishing scam actually is? We explain more about this threat to your identity in this blog.

Phishing Scams Explained

Phishing scams use fraudulent email messages that appear to be from a reputable or well-known company or organization. Victims of these types of scams often work for or are customers of the companies the scammers are claiming to represent.

A typical phishing scam starts with an email from a source you would recognize and trust. When a scammer pretends to be someone else to gain your trust, it is called “pretexting” or “spoofing.” During this stage, the scammer will attempt to get you to divulge credit card numbers, passwords, and other personal information.

The logos and associated addresses in the message usually look official, though if you look closely you might be able to identify a few noticeable errors or alterations.

The subject line usually contains an alarming message like, “your account will soon be closed” or “your mortgage payment is past due.” Because the message is attention grabbing, many people end up clicking the links and providing their password credentials. Once you click the links though, malicious software is installed on your system that monitors the websites you visit and the strokes entered on your keyboard. This allows scammers to collect your personal information and account passwords to steal or sell your identity.

How to Prevent Phishing Scams

The following tips can help you avoid being fooled by a phishing scam:

  • Install and regularly update your anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall software on all of your phones, computers, and other electronic devices.
  • Never open or reply to emails from a source you don’t recognize, this includes suspicious popup ads. 
  • Don’t return any calls from numbers associated with a phishing e-mail.
  • Don’t copy and paste links from an email you suspect is part of a phishing scam.
  • Report spam to your employer, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and the business that is being used to scam you.

Identity Theft Protection Services in Atlanta

Many people who have their identities stolen are the victims of phishing scams, which is why it is crucial to make sure your identity is protected. At Insurance Specialists, Inc., we are committed to providing our clients with the services they need to manage their personal information and report fraudulent activity. Stop by our office to today to discuss our identity theft protection services with one of our friendly insurance administrators.

Call (888) 451-0883 today to talk to one of our team members about scheduling your consultation to discuss our different plan options.