Is Phishing A Scam?
Yes, email scams known as phishing is a technique where a cyber criminal tries to gain access to a victim’s personal information through a scam email. These emails or links contained in these emails typically asks for the victim’s:
- Social security number
- User name
- Credit Card number and expiration date / CCV code
They some time also asks for information that seems more benign such as:
- Date of birth
- High school you attended
- City of birth
As these information can be used to reset your password to gain access to your account.
The end goal for the cybercriminal is to gain access to the personally identifiable information of the victim and either sell the information or use the information to commit crimes.
Scammers often hide scam pages behind linked text. To see the real destination behind a link, simply hover your mouse over a link on a computer, or tap and hold the link on a mobile phone or tablet.
In order to protect yourself, make sure you ensure the legitimacy of the email prior to responding to or clicking on any included links or attachments in the email. Especially if these emails require you to submit any of the information mentioned above.
For additional information concerning email scams known as phishing, visit the Information Security article on phishing. For more information on phishing, scams, or other security related topics, please visit the VCU Information Security Website.