Phishing Attacks | St. George's University

Phishing Attacks

Over 90% of cyberattacks begin with a phishing email. Scammers use email, instant message, or text messages to trick an individual in giving them your personal information. They will make attempts to steal passwords, account numbers, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or other identifiable information that will allow them to gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts. These messages often times appear to come from a trusted entity, which tricks the victim to open, click, download, and/or login.

WHAT DO PHISHING ATTACKS LOOK LIKE?

Phishing attacks most commonly appear to come from a company or individual you know or trust. As well, they often tell a story to trick you into clicking or opening an attachment. For example, they could include one or many of the following:

  • They’ve noticed suspicious activity or log-in attempts
  • Claiming there is a problem with your account and/or payment information
  • Noting you must confirm some personal information
  • Including a fake invoice
  • Noting you need to click a link to make a payment
  • Noting your eligible for a refund, coupon, or free gifts

HOW TO IDENTIFY A PHISHING ATTACK?

Cyber criminals can make these messages look and feel legitimate. The best approach is pause and evaluate the situation prior to taking any immediate action. There are ways for which one can work to identify a Phishing attack:

  • Look for mismatched URLs and/or redirects
  • Beware of messages conveying unusual urgency
  • Think before responding to unauthorized account related emails
  • Be suspicious of messages warning of severe consequences for inaction
  • Check for spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Beware of minimalism

Should you believe you have fallen victim to a phishing attack or believe you may have received an email, instant message, or text message that could contain malware and/or a threat, please contact IT Security ITsecurity@sgu.edu