How Does Phishing Work?

Whether you have been the victim of a phishing scam or would like to prevent yourself from being caught, you need to ask the question, “How does phishing work?”

The Volunteering of Information

The answer to the question, “how does phishing work” is quite simple for the basic form of phishing. It works because you, the user, volunteered your information to a non-trustworthy source. This may have been in response to an email that requested your social security number, bank details or username and password for a financial or online institution.

The Imbedded Web Address

How does phishing work? The next way phishing works is by redirecting the victim to a seemingly legitimate website from an email. The email may look like it has been sent from a bank, the Internal Revenue Service or an online financial service such as PayPal, escrow or an online financial rewards system. The website that the victim is redirected to appears in every way to be real. Upon entering usernames, passwords or any other vital information, it is not unlikely that the website appears to crash. This is because the phisher has what he needs and doesn’t want the victim to find out about the phony website.

The Online Virus

Answering the question “How does phishing work?” becomes a bit more difficult when the more sophisticated approaches are concerned. Without becoming too technical, it can be explained as a virus which infiltrates websites and then makes its way to your computer. The virus then hibernates within your PC until you visit a site it is programmed to pay attention to, such as a banking site. Upon doing so, a pop-up window is launched which asks you to re-enter your login details for security purposes. Upon doing so, these details are forwarded on to the phisher and you, the unsuspecting victim, continue on the legitimate site only to find out later that money has been stolen from your bank account.

The Fake Website

As virus software improved and people started to better understand the concept of “how does phishing work?” phishers began to create and design entirely fake online companies that require essential information such as credit card details, social security numbers, and banking particulars. So much research and effort is put into creating these websites and false companies that they are almost impossible to spot. Websense, which is an online security company, made a statement saying that these new sophisticated phishing sites by far outnumber the old phishing methods of the past.

By answering the question, how does phishing work, and learning about phishing, you can stay away from this type of online scam.