As we get closer to the Christmas holiday, people are ordering more and more gifts online. Regardless of your “go-to” place to order, you typically will receive a confirmation emails, an email stating the package has shipped, and finally delivered. However, has one of those emails/texts come in when you hadn’t ordered anything? This holiday season don’t fall victim to a phishing or smishing scam. Covert Results has done some research to better keep you and your money safe this season. The single most important tip that we can gift wrap you for this Christmas is…USE COMMON SENSE! 

“Phishing” is an attempt to steal your information. Criminals pretend to be a legitimate business to get you to disclose sensitive personal information, such as credit and debit card numbers, bank information, account passwords, or Social Security numbers. One of the most common phishing scams involves sending an email that pretends to be from a well-known company. However, it can also be carried out in person, over the phone, via malicious pop-up windows, and “spoof” (fake) websites. “Smishing” works the same way just under the veil of a text message. But how do we spot a spoof website or text? 

You can’t always tell if a website is authentic just by looking at the pages, since it is very easy for scammers to simply copy the real website’s content. You need to look at the URL to be sure that you are on the real website. With development in technology your devices may even warn you about the website. If your device allows you into the site check to be sure the site starts with “https://” and not just “http://” This tactic is a hard one to catch if you’re not paying attention. 

When dealing with the texting or “smishing” spoofs the message will always be urgent. There will be a limited time offer, your account will soon be closed, or they will be shutting off your phone. A good detection is to know what number each of your services use and make sure the number matches. Even then, it’s best not to click on anything in the text and logon to your account using a computer or your app that requires a login. If there is nothing wrong with your account from going directly to the site you will want to block the number and delete the text. The best way to keep from falling victim to a scam is by being cautious with where you enter any type of account or personal information into a text or website. You never know who may be behind the email or text link!

Covert Results is a private investigations and security company with over 100 years of experience. Our team of highly trained investigators and security experts are well versed in all types of investigations and security matters. For questions about private investigations, professional security, or consulting please email, call, or visit our website.   615-861-1680