How does phishing work? It’s when a scammer sends you a fake email that might look real in order to extort your personal information.

Security Magazine states that 3 billion fake emails are sent worldwide every day. About 1.2 percent of all email is suspicious and most likely fake. You’re not too tech-savvy to fall for these scams. About 97 percent of people can’t identify a phishing scam.

Staying vigilant with your inbox helps keep your own email secure. It also helps to keep the information of your clients, business associates, friends and family more secure in the process.

How does phishing work? What to do and not to do

Open attachments or click on links unless absolutely sure of the sender.
Supply or share your login credentials if requested to do so.
Send confidential or sensitive information via unencrypted email.
Respond if the email sounds too good to be true or has a sense of urgency to it.
Read your email closely and be on the lookout for grammatical errors and misspellings.
Check the sender line of your email as a way to determine if it’s coming from someone legitimate or not.
Hover over hyperlinks before clicking on them. If you’re using a computer to browse emails, don’t click on links right away.

More information from the Federal Trade Commission

The FTC offers a list of common tactics that email (and text and telephone) phishers might use to try to trick you into giving up personal information.

  • They may say they’ve noticed suspicious activity on your account or login attempts.
  • They may claim there’s a problem with your account or payment information.
  • They could say that you must confirm a piece of personal information.
  • You could receive a fake invoice.
  • They may ask you to click on a link in an email to make a payment.
  • They could pretend that you’re eligible for some type of government refund.
  • They could offer you a coupon for free stuff.

Here are a few ways to report phishing scams

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