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Springfords LLP blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

Online Fraud: Phishing for Con-pliments

18 March 2014

Online is great for everything. Thanks Tim, for inventing the Internet, twenty-five years ago - you’re a star! Do you know Sir Tim gave away the idea, so he never earned a penny from his invention? Unfortunately, not everyone online is as magnanimous as Professor Berners-Lee. There are more than a few cybervillans with dirty tricks up their sleeves, who would happily take you to the cleaners.

So a word of warning about the increasingly sophisticated amount of phishing activity going on at the moment as cybervillans, commonly disguising themselves as your bank or HMRC, are very keen to get their hands on your personal bank details .

The quickest and best way to deal with this is … do NOT do what the e-mail instructs you to do. Don’t follow any link; don’t fill in your security details; don’t call the helpful number you don’t recognise, unless the prospect of being permanently connected to a premium rate line in central Africa sounds like fun to you. Quite simply, don’t fall for a sophisticated scam that’ll leave you genuinely financially compromised. Big time.

Common things to look out for are, first of all, you’ll not be expecting this message - it’ll come out of the blue. Second - spot the subtle differences in the email address - everything to the left of that little cat’s tail symbol just isn’t quite right. Third of all, absolutely no reputable firm or HMRC will ever, ever, ever ask you to reveal your security details in this manner. There’s lots more at this wikipedia page.

If you’re still tempted to reply, just try this: pretend this isn’t an email or a phone call or a text. Pretend this is someone real, who you’ve never met, wearing a dodgy leather jacket with three days grubby beard - and a tattoo on their forehead. They just knocked on your door late at night and asked all these personal questions. How comfortable would you feel, standing there, in your pyjamas?

What if it’s genuine you quite rightly ask. What if it is indeed. Well, just to make sure, give Springfords a call and we’ll have a look and let you know our opinion.

Don’t fall for online phishing crime, hook, line and sinker.


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