EL PASO, Texas - Emails known as ‘phishing scams’ may flood your inbox, but the new level of sophistication might surprise you.
A ‘phishing scam’ is when you receive an email disguised as a trustworthy entity. When you click on the link in that email, your personal information may be compromised.
Everyone is familiar with the email from a foreign prince asking you to wire them money. Unfortunately, the scams have transformed into more realistic messages and websites.
“What they’ll do is mask the links they’re sending you to make you think you’re going to a bank or a site that you know to click on that because you’ve always done that,” CEO of Makios Technology Nils Desmet said.
Scam artists are now employing realistic company logos and designs that look legitimate in an effort to entice victims to click on a link.
Desmet said there are some ways to not fall victim. First, he said, use common sense. If an email disguised as FedEx sends you an email asking you to click on a link because you’ve received a package, ask your self: 'was I expecting a package?' Also, check the email address. Sometimes, the sender may use an address that is similar to the company it’s disguising itself as, but there can be a few letters that are different.
Oftentimes, the elderly population is more susceptible to falling victim to these scams.
Yvette Lugo, Director of the Area Agency on Aging, said they often receive concerns from elderly residents regarding fraudulent phone calls. However, she said she understands how internet scams can also be a point of vulnerability.
“All of us are vulnerable to that happening to us,” Lugo said. “I think perhaps older adults are not as tech savvy. The word trust comes to mind. I think we’ve seen that often we have to help older adults understand that times are different, things have changed from what perhaps they’re used to. In this day and age, any of us can fall victim to fraud.”