Phishing scams are no longer reserved for your email. Now there are texts, websites, adverts or phone calls that are trying to scam you. This article outlines what is phishing, how and why you should report phishing attempts to National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
What is phishing?
Phishing’ is when criminals use scam emails, text messages or phone calls to trick their victims. The aim is often to make you visit a website (to download a virus onto your computer), contact a phone number, or steal bank details or other personal information.
Few of us ever report these criminals, often because we don’t know how to. This article will outline how to report scams to keep you and the most vunerable safe.
Why you should report phishing scams
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is a UK government organisation that has the power to investigate and take down scam email addresses and websites.
Reporting a scam is free and only takes a minute. By reporting phishing attempts, you can:
- reduce the amount of scam communications you receive
- make yourself a harder target for scammers
- protect others from cyber crime online
Report an email you think is a scam
If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, forward it to email@example.com
- Forward as many suspicious emails as you like.
- Send emails that feel suspicious, even if you’re not certain they’re a scam – they can check.
- Don’t click on any links in a suspicious email.
- You don’t need to forward suspicious emails you find in your spam/junk folder.
Contact your IT Provider as it may be possible to add a ‘Report Phishing’ add-in for Outlook and then you only need to hit the button to report the email.
Report a scam text
Most phone providers are part of a scheme that allows customers to report suspicious text messages for free by forwarding it to 7726. If you forward a text to 7726, your provider can investigate the origin of the text and arrange to block or ban the sender, if it’s found to be malicious.
If 7726 doesn’t work, you can find out how to report a text message by contacting your phone provider.
How phone scams work
Phone scammers will call you unsolicited, pretending to be from an organisation you trust, such as your bank or the police.
These scam calls may be automated, or from a real person. They may ask you for your personal information like banking details, or tell you you need to transfer money.
If you’ve lost money or have been hacked as a result of responding to a phishing message, you should report it:
- In England, Wales or Northern Ireland, visit www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.
- In Scotland, report to Police Scotland by calling 101.
Report a website you think is a scam
Many scammers operate fake websites, which will download viruses to your computer, or are designed to steal passwords or other personal information.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has the power to investigate and remove scam websites. It’s free to report a suspicious website and it only takes a minute. By reporting suspicious websites, you can help stop cyber criminals and protect others online.
- Send as many suspicious URLs as you like
- Send websites that feel suspicious, even if you’re not certain they’re a scam
- Don’t click on any links on a suspicious website
- Don’t input any personal information
Make yourself a harder target
Criminals use information about you that’s available online (including on social media sites) to make their phishing messages more convincing.
You can reduce the likelihood of being phished by thinking about what personal information you (and others) post about you, and by reviewing your privacy settings within your social media accounts.
Need Some Help or Advice?
If you would like to learn more about how to keep on top of your cybersecurity worries, why not schedule a free 15 minute consultation to find out how we can help?
If you aren’t ready to schedule a call but would like to learn more about Cyber Security, we recommend the following articles: