How to spot a phishing scam?
When it comes to phishing, there are some clear signs to look out for:
Question what is being asked of you: your bank or Southern Cross will never contact you directly asking you to authorise a transfer of money. They'd also never request your PIN or passwords in full over the phone or via email.
Check the sender’s email address: this is a basic giveaway. Does it look right to you, or is something slightly off? A good example is when the email domain or address is different to the company they’re supposedly representing.
Check for typos: if there are a lot of spelling and punctuation errors, or if the email simply doesn’t make sense in parts, then it’s probably a phishing scam.
Check the link: this is critical. Links may have a display name that differs to the URL address that it points to.
Are you being urged to act fast? most scams are exposed quickly. For this reason, the person will often try and instil a sense of urgency in in their communication. They'll try to rush you by creating a sense of panic, which is one thing you should never do. Take a step back and seek a second opinion if you’re unsure.
What to do if you’re being phished?
If you receive a suspicious email or a text message, do not reply, do not click on any links, and do not download any attachments. Most importantly, never provide any personal information. However, if you have provided personal, sensitive information by mistake, you need to change your password immediately for whatever website the phishing scam related to, e.g. your bank.