Recently, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) pointed out that anyone can be a target of a scammer. Its example was an email that it received claiming its Apple ID was restricted and that they would not be able to make purchases on iTunes until they updated their account. Its point is that if they, experts on ID theft, receive phishing emails like this, you can also.
In mid-December, Los Angeles County announced that in the spring of 2016 over 100 Los Angeles County employees received a phishing email that caused them to disclose usernames and passwords. The county was going to notify 756,000 citizens of the breach. The county also had a warrant out for a Nigerian that it claims was behind the phishing attack.
Even with the alleged Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee, phishing emails are a key component into letting Russian operatives into the Democratic Party’s computers.
While the phishing email threat to us as individuals may not come from a government, we need to defend ourselves from scammers and ID thieves who are interested in our personal information, our computers for malicious bot activity, or to extort money from us in a ransomware attack.
· That you never click on a link or open an attachment in an email that you were not expecting. This is true even if the sender appears to be someone you know or recognize.
· If you do receive an email requiring you to change or update your information, get verbal confirmation before opening any link or attachment.
· You can also go directly to the sender’s website through your web browser.
ITRC also recommends that if you receive a phishing email that claims to be from Apple forward the email to email@example.com. This is a monitored email inbox that does not generate individual email replies.
Federal Trade Commission: