You probably have seen it before – or not – but there is a sneaky bait and switch trick used by some hackers. It works like this: they register and set up a fraudulent website that is a very close misspelling of a legitimate one. For example, www.amercanexpress.com (don’t go there!) instead of www.americanexpress.com.
If you accidentally mistype just one letter in the address, you may end up on the wrong website, without being aware of it. Those fake sites are typically set up to look like an identical copy of the real site that looks legit. This way you can be tricked into using your credentials such as login, password, pin and other sensitive data that their key-logger malware would take advantage of. In addition, those sites are full of virus “mines” links just waiting for you to click on them so they can infect your computer with a virus.
By one estimate, there is over a 150,000,000 of phishing emails that go out EVERY DAY. Just in time for another Holiday Season, we thought it would be a useful reminder for our friends and clients to be on the lookout for Phishing Scam as you shop, do business, or spend time on social networks online.
Some anti-virus software, such as our partner ESET product family (Smart Security, ESET Smart Security Premium, ESET Internet Security, and ESET NOD32 Antivirus) provide Anti-Phishing protection. With Anti-Phishing option (enable by default) you can block web sites known to distribute phishing content.
Take advantage of potential phishing attempt alerts
When you access a phishing website, you will receive the following notification in your web browser. By clicking Ignore threat, or Proceed to the site options, you can access the website, and stop receiving a warning message about this site in the future: please, note that doing so is not recommended. Instead, double-check the spelling of the website you are going to visit.
Bookmark legitimate sites
One of the safest things you can do is to bookmark the legitimate site once you are visiting it. Even if you don’t type the address by hand, but think of clicking on legitimate-looking link in an email, think twice before clicking: could it be phishing? Go to our bookmarks. This way you can access legitimate site through bookmarks rather than relying on your fast-typing fingers or potentially bogus links. Make sure to do a regular audit of your bookmarks!
Be on alert about Phishing
Sometimes even legitimate sites may be infected with fishing malware, and most proper anti-virus solution will catch that and alert you if any phishing is suspected. This advice applies not only to the sites which addresses you type in the URL bar, but also those you get to by clicking on the links in the legitimate-looking emails. Criminals are getting more and more crafty in tricking users to access their malicious sites. 1 in 4 Americans fall for the bait-and-switch links. Do you think you can be one of them? You can take a Phishing Quiz and test yourself: EST and NBC’s TODAY show partnered-up last year to demonstrate how easy it is to fall for the phishing scam.