Identifying a Phishing Attempt
I recently received an SMS from someone claiming that I had won $850,000.00 through the UK Toyota Mobile Award, whatever that is. The message required that I send an email to a given address to begin the process of claiming my winnings. The whole thing was, of course, a charade. However, because I am not going to give up free blogging material, I sent a message to the address and, a few hours later, received the response that I have pasted below. Now to the subject of this post; how to spot a phishing attempt;
- Phishing attempts come in the form of unsolicited emails or SMSs
- There are claims that you have won large sums of money
- If provided with a website where, this usually is only HTTP and not the secure HTTPS.
- The language in a phishing email is bad. Cyber criminals are apparently not bothered with grammar
- You are advised to keep the fact that you have “won” secret.
- Any company logos are obvious ripoffs
- You are asked to provide personal details, including banking details.
- Some phishing attempts ask you to pay a certain amount to have your winnings released.
How to Spot a Phishing Attempt
The letter below should tell you everything that you need to learn how to spot a phishing attempt;
Your Mobile number was extracted from all Toyota Outlet Worldwide and Also Through Telecommunication Companies Directories to enable us run the draw to reach out to both Customers and None Customers and to encourage people to use Toyota as their choice.
I wish to acquaint you with the steps that you must follow to receive your funds. On our part, we will do everything to see that you receive your fund at the earliest possible time. We shall work very hard to realize this mandate as we respect your views, opinions and most importantly, protect your privacy. Also note that your winning prize has an INSURANCE BOND guiding it to avoid any form of diversion during transfer.
Kindly provide us with the following information to enable us issue you the Certificate of Award from our central computer and direct you how to contact the Paying Bank as soon as possible for the release of your funds.
Once again, I congratulate you personally on your selection and implore you to adhere to our directions in ensuring successful claim. Further guidelines shall be provided to you on our receipt of your personal information.
Congratulations from me and members of UK Toyota Mobile Award.