FBI Phoenix Tech Tuesday: Phishing and Spoofing Scams
FBI Phoenix Special Agent Suzanne Allen describes the dangers of phishing and spoofing scams.
I’m Special Agent Suzanne Allen.
FBI Phoenix is warning the public of phishing and spoofing scams.
A phishing scam occurs when someone uses an unsolicited email, phone number, or other source of digital information from a legitimate company and requests your personal information. An attachment is often included in the message. If you open the attachment or click the link, the subject can gain access to your device.
Spoofing is when contact information is deliberately falsified to appear to be from a legitimate source. For example, the victim’s caller ID may show FBI Phoenix as the caller, but that’s not the case. Victims could be speaking with a caller from anywhere in the world.
According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, in Arizona these scams accounted for more than 1,000 victims, with a reported loss of around $3 million in 2020 alone.
Nationally, these scams accounted for over a quarter of a million victims reporting losses of more than $260 million.
To help protect yourself from phishing and spoofing scams:
Protect your devices by using anti-virus and anti-malware software.
Don’t assume a message that looks like it is from a friend or business associate is real. Use a known phone number or email account to contact the person or company to confirm before ever clicking on a link or opening an attachment.
Do not send money or gift cards to anybody that you don’t know personally.
Never give out your personal information over the phone or to individuals you do not know.
If you believe you are a victim of an online scam, please contact FBI Phoenix at (623) 466-1999. The FBI encourages you to report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov
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