phone screen showing applications

As text and email have become integral to our society, you may not think twice when a new message from your bank or credit card company pops up on your phone. However, when you click the link and log in, your information isn’t going into a legitimate site but a copy made by scammers to obtain your details. Known as phishing scams, these are common and, unfortunately, successful ways thieves will steal your personal information and identity. The following blog explores what you must know about these scams and how a San Diego County identity theft lawyer can help if you’ve been impacted.

What Are Phishing Scams?

Phishing scams often come in the form of a text or email, with the sender posing as a bank, credit card company, subscription-based service, or mail carrier. These messages often tell you to log in, whether it’s to check fake suspicious activity, update your payment information, or offer you a coupon. Often, scammers will recreate messages and emails to look like they came from a legitimate institution or company.

However, when you click the link, it will often take you to a fake page created to look just like the legitimate login page of the company they are copying. When you enter your information, instead of being sent to your bank or credit card, the scammers now have your login or payment details.

How Can I Protect Myself?

If you’re worried about phishing scams, it’s necessary to understand that there are steps you can take to help ensure you do not fall victim to these deceptive methods.

Generally, if you receive a text from a company you do not have an account with, you can assume it’s a phishing scam. For example, some scammers will pose as a mail carrier to inform you there is an issue with your package. However, if you have not ordered anything recently, you can assume this is a scam.

If you have an account with the company that contacted you, you should scan the message carefully. Indicators of phishing include spelling errors, a vague greeting that does not use your name, and being sent from a public domain email. If unsure whether the message is legitimate, you can always call the company to confirm.

What Should I Do if I’m a Victim?

If you are the victim of a phishing scam, it’s essential to act quickly, as your identity could be at risk. The first thing you should do is report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC can help provide the steps you should take to protect your identity when you believe you responded to a phishing email.

Next, you’ll want to run a malware check on your computer or phone to ensure the link you clicked did not infect your device with a virus. Finally, you should change all passwords and turn on two-factor authentication for all your accounts.

If you’re the victim of identity theft because of a phishing scam, you’ll want to contact an experienced attorney from the Law Office of Barthel Legal. Our dedicated legal team understands how devastating identity theft can be, and we will do everything possible to fight for you to reclaim your identity. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.