Some of the most common scams start with an unsolicited text, email or call. From emails and text messages asking you to 'verify' account details to cold callers claiming to be from your bank, the goal of these scams is usually the same, to trick you into revealing personal and financial information.

Criminals are constantly evolving the tactics they use to carry out these attacks, which is why it’s sometimes difficult for people to know what to look out for. We’ve got some simple advice that can help you protect yourself from most of the common threats.

Be wary of unsolicited emails, phone calls or SMS messages asking you to disclose personal details, such as login information – especially if they claim to come from your bank/credit card provider.

Such scams can be very convincing, and attackers may use your personal data to make them look even more realistic.

Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

Spot phishing emails:

  • Many phishing emails have poor grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  • Is the design and overall quality what would you'd expect from the organisation the email is supposed to come from?
  • Is it addressed to you by name, or does it refer to 'valued customer', or 'friend', or 'colleague'? This can be a sign that the sender does not actually know you, and that it is part of a phishing scam.
  • Does the email contain a veiled threat that asks you to act urgently? Be suspicious of words like 'send these details within 24 hours' or 'you have been a victim of crime, click here immediately'.
  • Look at the sender's name. Does it sound legitimate, or is it trying to mimic someone you know?
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It's most unlikely that someone will want to give you money, or give you access to a secret part of the Internet.
  • Your bank, or any other official source, should never ask you to supply personal information from an email. 

For more tips on how to protect yourself online, visit cyberaware.