What Is Angler Phishing?

Many businesses and organizations emphasize the importance of cybersecurity because it can affect their brand, reputation, and credibility. That’s one of the reasons that phishing is such a major concern. 

As a refresher, phishing refers to a fraudulent attempt to collect sensitive data and personal information. These shady social media scammers often then use your financial information to make purchases or attempt to steal your money or identity.

The objective of phishing is simple: obtain passwords, financial information, 

or other personal information that could potentially be valuable to social media scammers. There are different phishing types, and one of the most popular forms of phishing is angler phishing. Angler phishing refers to the practice of pretending to be a customer service account to lure victims into handing over personal information. 

How Does It Work? 

Many businesses have disgruntled customers and often take to social media to complain about a product or service. Angler phishing involves reaching out to these customers and pretending to be involved with the company that they might be complaining about. If they are experienced in phishing, there will be a significant amount of effort to make their responses seem official. These social media scammers may even utilize the company’s graphics to convince customers.

 Social media scammers will often even have “alerts” to find out when customers are complaining about a specific company. These social media scammers use angler phishing to appear genuine and eager to help, but they are often just after your financial information. They will offer you a link, often to “chat with an agent’, but the link won’t be an official one.

Avoiding Social Media Scammers

Top Tips:

  • Make sure to verify any unknown users who contact you through social media.
  • Ask for the representative to send you an email from their business address.
  • Never send sensitive information through social media.

 You might be wondering how to avoid those involved in angler phishing, and there are a couple of things to consider. First, find out whether you are speaking to someone officially involved with a company. These accounts often will be “verified” in some way, depending on the social media platform that you use. Angler phishing is often most used when the social media scammers feel like the official customer service accounts are less active.

How does angler phishing remain effective? They are banking on the fact that you won’t take the time to verify that they are official representatives from a company, business, or organization. One way to avoid angler phishing is to contact the company directly through their website rather than dealing with a cybercriminal interested in phishing for information. 

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