‘Spear Phishing’ Scams Target Your Personal and Business Email Accounts

InvestigateTV – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a warning about a specific type of phishing scam called spear phishing.

Phishing is when a fraudster sends you an email that, if you click on it, downloads malware on your computer, potentially allowing the fraudster to access your computer and account. Spear phishing is the same premise, only the victim is specifically targeted.

Jesse Schibilia, a special agent with the FBI’s Richmond division, said hackers could deploy ransomware or try to track down specific people within a business to gain access to the company’s confidential information. “So there are certain things in your company’s network that are really, really valuable, and they can use them for financial advantage or sell them to other people who might actually be interested in that information,” he said.

Experts suggest several ways to protect yourself from spear phishing attacks:

Be mindful of the links you click on in emails, social media platforms and text messages

If the link looks suspicious, call the person who sent it to verify it came from them

If You Own a Business, Teach Your Employees to Spot Suspicious Emails

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has resources to help you spot suspicious emails. Here are some signs of a classic phishing scam:

The message has a generic greeting

You have been asked to update your account information

Urgent need to share personal and financial information

You can report phishing attempts to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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