Phishing scams have been around for a long time, but just in case you’re not familiar with the term: phishing generally refers to scammy emails that look legitimate but are meant to trick you into sharing some personal information, or clicking on a bogus link that looks like it comes from a legit source.
As a public service, we wanted to share a recent story we came across, on the KnowBe4 blog, about a particularly heinous form of phishing which includes a target’s actual personal data, in one example a password that was hacked from an adult service that the phishing target once subscribed to.
With more and more stolen data out there, scammers have a trove of information to help them appear more believable, and therefore more dangerous, in their attacks.
Some advice from the article linked above:
According to the FBI, here are some things you can do to avoid becoming a victim:
- Never send compromising images of yourself to anyone, no matter who they are — or who they say they are.
- Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know, and in general be wary of opening attachments even from those you do know.
- Turn off [and/or cover] any web cameras when you are not using them.
If you receive an email that claims they have video of you viewing pornography, do not answer, delete the scam email and do not pay any amount in any form.
The FBI says in many sextortion cases, the perpetrator is an adult pretending to be a teenager, and you are just one of the many victims being targeted by the same person. If you believe you’re a victim of sextortion, or know someone else who is, the FBI wants to hear from you: Contact your local FBI office (or toll-free at 1-800-CALL-FBI).
Have you received this type of phishing email? Are you aware of other new types of scams? Please share your experiences in the comments below, to help us make as many people as possible aware of these threats. And please be careful out there.