ACCORDING to Scamwatch, phishing refers to emails that trick people into giving out their personal and banking information, which can also be sent by SMS.
These messages appear to be sent from legitimate businesses, usually banks or other financial institutions or telecommunications providers.
Scammers are generally trying to get information such as bank account and credit card numbers as well as passwords to steal your money.
Scamwatch advises that phishing emails often look genuine and use what look to be genuine internet addresses, often copy an institution's logo and message format.
Be aware of the warning signs:
You receive an email or SMS claiming to be from a financial institution or telecommunication provider (messages appear to be sent from your bank, service provider or a business you don't have an account with). The email contains a link that leads you to a website where you are prompted to enter your bank account details.
The email does not address you by your proper name and may contain typing and grammatical errors.
The email might claim that your details are needed for a security and maintenance upgrade, to "verify" your account or to protect you from a fraud threat.
Some emails may even claim you are due to receive a refund.
Protect yourself from phishing scams:
Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.
Do not give out your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and know the phone number came from a trusted source.
Do not open suspicious or unsolicited emails - ignore them.
Do not click on any links in a spam email or open any files attached to them.
Never call a telephone number that you see in a spam email or SMS.
If you want to access an internet account website, use a bookmarked link or type the address in yourself - don't follow a link in an email.
Check website addresses carefully. Scammers often set up fake websites with very similar addresses.
Never enter your personal, credit card or online account information on a website if you are not certain it is genuine.
Never send your personal, credit card or online account details through an email.
Source: www.scam watch.gov.au