PHISHING FOR SUCKERS: Common email, Internet scams – and how to avoid them

MACY CLOWERS and ASHLYN KITZMILLER

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Phishing is an attempt to gather sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money). Over 15 million phishing scams happen each year.

Earlier this year a Snapchat payroll employee opened the wrong email to damaging consequences. The email was a phishing scam that impersonated Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel.

In the email, a hacker posing as Spiegel requested payroll information for existing and ex-employees.

The hacker then exposed that information to the outside world. Snapchat issued a public apology to its workers in a blog post. Within four hours, the startup confirmed that it was an “isolated” problem and reported it to the FBI.

“Luckily, no servers were breached. No user data was taken,” Snapchat says. “But a number of our employees have now had their identity compromised. And for that, we’re just impossibly sorry.”

Most of the time it’s not a good idea to take online quizzes like those on Facebook “Which twilight character are you?” There could end up being monthly charges.

If you have an email, you’re most likely familiar with scams. In the mail you might receive a letter stating you won $1 million because you “entered” a contest. The email says claim your prize you need to fill out a form with all of your information. In reality you didn’t enter a contest, and you didn’t win money they just want to get all of your personal information.

“If you have an email account, chances are you will get an email asking for your personal information” KHS Newspaper and yearbook teacher Sean Chaffin said. “Don’t ever reply to an unknown email with your information.”

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PHISHING FOR SUCKERS: Common email, Internet scams – and how to avoid them