Phishing is a scam in which an email is sent claiming to be from a legitimate source. These emails ask for personal information (e.g. card numbers, Social Security numbers), which can be used by cybercriminals to access your bank accounts.

These used to be computer-specific threats, but the rise of smartphones, tablets, and mobile applications has brought this threat to mobile users as well. In fact, some say that mobile users are three times more likely to be victimized by a phishing scam than standard computer users are.

Keep an eye out for these signs of phishing:

  1. Be wary of any email that claims your information has been compromised, or that demands you respond to the sender with personal information such as your bank information or Social Security number. No legitimate source will ask for this information via email. In fact, most legitimate sources will not ask for it at all.
  2. If an email offer seems “too good to be true,” chances are it is. Ignore emails that offer extravagant prizes for seemingly no reason, tell you you’ve won a contest you never entered, or offer you large sums of money. These are always scams.
  3. Be wary of any emails that come from unfamiliar addresses! If you don’t recognize the entity sending you the email, chances are the email (and what’s hiding within it) are things you could gladly live without.
  4. Keep an eye out for spelling or grammar mistakes. For example, an email might claim to be from eBay and refer to you as a “costumer” instead of a “customer.” Real emails from legitimate companies will not have errors such as these.
  5. Phishing emails will often tell you that “direct action” is required on an account, and to “click this link” to perform that action. Chances are good that this is false, and in any case, you should never click links offered to you like this. If you’re worried that the email might be legitimate, log into the account in question, verify if the account needs you action in order to work, and (if needed) perform the requested actions directly from that account.

An Info-graphic containing the following text, with themes of space and aliens. Beware of Phishing. What is Phishing? Phishing is a scam in which an email is sent claiming to be from a legitimate source. these emails ask for personal information (e.g. card numbers, social security numbers), which, if given, can be used by cybercriminals ot access your bank accounts or other sensitive information. There used to be computer-specific threats, but the rise of smartphones, tablets, and mobile applications has brought this threat to mobile users as well. How do I know if I have received a phishing email? Alien/ Unidentified address: If you don't recognize the email sender's address, don't open the email. Extraterrestrial documents: sometimes phishers send "Important" documents that must be opened right away. These documents could contain damaging viruses. Do not open attached docs from suspicious senders. Alien Language: One way to Identify a phishing email is through spelling and grammar. If incorrect spelling and grammar consistently appears throughout the email, delete it or contact the sender with your concerns. Information Abduction: No legitimate source will ask for your personal information over email. Be suspicious of emails that tell you that your information is compromised and require immediate action. Live Long and Ignore Links: Sometimes scam emails tempt you with false prize offers, jobs, etc. Real offers such as these will never be offered via email. If you are still unsure, you can scroll over the link to see its URL. If it's different than where the email says it will go, don't click it. Email Snatchers: Cyber Criminals recreate known or credible email addresses in an attempt to trick the reader. If something is off in the address, don't open it. Instead, check the address in your contacts to be sure it is legitimate before clicking links or opening documents. if you suspect you have received a phishing or scam email, please report the incident to the BYU-Idaho Support Center (BSC) at 208.496.1411