I have seen first-hand the devastating effects of phishing scams on innocent victims. It’s crucial to stop scammers in their tracks before they can cause any harm. One way to do this is by submitting the phishing email to the appropriate authorities. But how do you do that? In this article, I’ll walk you through step-by-step on how to submit a phishing email and why it’s important to do so. So, let’s get started!
How do I submit a phishing email?
Here are some formatted bullet points to summarize the steps to take if you receive a phishing email:
Remember to always stay vigilant and cautious when you receive unsolicited emails, especially those that ask for personal information or money. Taking the necessary steps to report and prevent phishing scams can help protect yourself and others from becoming victims of cybercrime.
???? Pro Tips:
1. Do not open any attachments or click on any links within the phishing email as it may contain malware or viruses.
2. Report the phishing email to your organization’s IT or security team immediately, and follow their instructions for submission.
3. If you are not sure who to contact, look for a “Report Phishing” or “Report Suspicious Email” button on your email interface, and follow the designated reporting steps.
4. Be sure to include the full email header as it contains important information for the IT or security team to investigate and track the origin of the email.
5. To prevent future phishing attempts, delete the email from your inbox and any other folders where it may have been moved, and reinforce safe email practices with your colleagues and family members.
Recognizing phishing emails
Phishing scams are on the rise and it seems that they are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approach. In a phishing email, fraudsters try to deceive you into handing over sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details, or banking information. To recognize phishing emails, it is important to be vigilant and pay attention to what you are being asked to do. Common methods that fraudsters use to get you to click on a link or open an attachment include:
- Generic salutations instead of personalized ones
- Forged sender addresses
- Urgent requests to take immediate action
- Scare tactics designed to cause panic
- Links to web pages that request sensitive information
- Unsolicited offers that are too good to be true
If you come across any email that you suspect is a phishing attempt, your first move should always be to report it.
Why reporting phishing emails is important
Reporting phishing emails is an essential step in fighting against cyber fraud. By forwarding phishing emails to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) at firstname.lastname@example.org, you help to redirect the nefarious phishing activities away from the people that would otherwise have been caught. This way, ISPs, security vendors, financial institutions, and law enforcement agencies collate the data to learn how to eliminate such scams from the source. By reporting any email that looks suspicious to the APWG, you may help stop fraudsters from continuing their activities.
How to forward a phishing email
When you come across a suspicious email, you should immediately report it to the APWG. To report the email, follow these simple steps:
- Open the email and select the “Forward” option
- Type “email@example.com” in the “To” field
- Include any other relevant information you can provide in the message body, such as the email header or subject line
- Click “Send”
Once the email is reported, APWG will take care of the rest.
Identifying the Anti-Phishing Working Group
The Anti-Phishing Working Group is a global alliance of cross-industry companies, government agencies, law enforcement bodies, and NGOs, all fighting together to eliminate phishing scams from the world. The APWG works to research, develop, and implement security solutions to defend against the damaging effects of phishing worldwide.
The role of ISPs in combating phishing scams
ISPs or Internet Service Providers also play a vital role in combating phishing. These service providers can monitor email traffic, block phishing websites, and alert users of potential phishing emails. Additionally, they should have anti-spam tools to stop phishing emails from reaching your inbox.
How security vendors, financial institutions, and law enforcement agencies collaborate to tackle phishing
Phishing is not just a concern to individual users, institutions such as banks or e-commerce websites are prey as well. They have no choice than to work in partnership collaboration with security vendors, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies to get up to date anti-phishing security protocols. Security vendors such as malware detection and anti-virus software firms update their systems to identify the latest threats. Financial institutions provide their customers with a secure and trustworthy platform for online banking. Whereas law enforcement agencies, who have mandate to investigate and prosecute cybercrimes.
Informing the person or company being impersonated
It is important to take a step further aside from just sending the phishing email to the APWG. Also, inform the organization or person impersonated that someone is using their name or brand for malicious purposes. So, that they are aware of the activities of these fraudsters and may help to secure their systems and brand name.
Staying safe online: Tips for protecting yourself from phishing scams
You can protect yourself from phishing scams by following a few tips:
- Install anti-malware software using reliable sources
- Keep your software updated
- Be careful when opening emails from unknown sources
- Do not open any suspicious email attachment or click on any links within the email
- Regularly change your online account passwords
- Check your accounts regularly for unusual transactions
Together, the efforts of individuals, organizations, and the cybersecurity industry may work to eliminate phishing scams altogether.