Unfortunately, phishing scams are not going away. The use of business email compromise, smishing or text scams, and ransomware scams are still prevalent. However, the use of Phishing URLs has seen a sharp increase over the past year. Reported cases in April 2021 nearly tripled that of April 2020; 28,000 cases to over 63,000 cases.
Phishing URLs affect both businesses and consumers. This type of scam can generally be attributed to the increase in remote workers and the heavy use of convenient online services such as banking, shopping, and bill pay.
What is a Phishing URL?
A Phishing URL is a website domain or URL that appears to be the official website but has a slight variation. At a glance, the website address seems to be legitimate; however, it takes you to a different website. The scam website can mirror the legitimate website’s homepage, making this type of scam tricky for consumers and highly effective for criminals.
Examples of Phishing URLs:
Legitimate website URL: www.rivercitybank.com
Phishing URLs: www.river-citybank.com ; www.rivercitybanking.com ; www.river-city-bank.com
Legitimate URL: www.irs.gov
Phishing URLs: www.irs.org ; www.irs.com ; www.internalrevservice.gov
How Can You Avoid Phishing URLs?
- Confirm the URL: Double and triple-check the website address before entering any credentials or clicking on links within the website.
- Bookmark Frequently Used Sites: Use the bookmark or favorite’s functions to save frequently visited sites instead of conducting a web search each time. The bookmark will save the legitimate site, thus mitigating the risk of clicking on a Phishing URL.
For more information on cybersecurity, visit the River City Bank- Safety and Security page.