Have you ever received an intimidating call or message demanding for your information? This is an example of a phishing scam used by cyber criminals to steal your important information. During tax season, phishing scams are on the rise so that’s why we created a guide to help avoid scam attempts.

what’s a phishing scam?

Phishing is a type of cyber attack used by cyber criminals to obtain your information or tricking you into downloading or clicking a link. Cyber criminal tactics vary from impersonating a loved
one or claiming to work for the IRS. If you ever receive a suspicious email, text message, or even phone call, delete it and never click on any unknown links!

gift card scam

Most scammers will want you to purchase gift cards as payment. These transactions are difficult to trace and harder to recover funds. If someone is requesting a large amount sum of gift cards, it is a fraudulent request. Legitimate companies such as Microsoft will never ask for payment via gift cards.

how to spot a scam

Be cautious of emails or text messages from unknown addresses. Sometimes your email
won’t mark messages as spam or text messages will be disguised as shipping information.
Here are some tips to spot out a scam:

  • spelling errors
  • messages with a sense of urgency
  • too good to be true offers
  • shortened or links with misspellings
  • requests for personal information
  • demanding payment

If you are unsure about a message, contact the organization who sent the email for confirmation before answering a message or clicking any links.

keeping your devices updated

One way of keeping your devices safe is by staying up to date on software updates. Updates enable your device to stay safe against the most recently discovered security threats. When you receive an update notification from your device such as your cell phone, set a time to install the latest update during the night time while your device is on its charger.