Fishing or Getting Phished?

Fishing or Getting Phished?

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

As a wife of a tournament fisherman, I have learned my fair share about fishing.  As the Senior Relationship Manager, I have also learned a lot about another kind of phishing. Although the meanings of the two words are different, they do have some things in common. We all know that the meaning of fishing is the activity of trying to catch a fish. While the other meaning of phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from a reputable company in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. While my husband could write a book on fishing, I could write a book on lots of different phishing scams.

Here is a fun educational twist how the two different meanings have commonality.

FISHERMEN USE A DEPTH FINDER: The depth finder shows the contours of the lake, submerged logs, the lakes structure, the bait fish, bigger fish, and your targeted fish (the targeted fish would be a walleye for my husband).

PHISHING USES A DEPTH FINDER:  Phishing depth finders’ emails become more intricate, enticing, and tougher to spot. Like most phishing attacks, social engineering preys on the natural human tendency to trust people and companies. The targeted email attacks rely on cybercriminal data collected about the victim and/or the victim’s employer. Phishing emails use urgent and familiar language to encourage the victim to bite.

FISHERMAN’S LURES: There are all kinds of fish and different scenarios call for different types of lures. Are you live anchor fishing, pulling live bait, trolling artificial crank bait, casting crank bait, jig fishing, spooning …just to name a few?  Fish react differently to vibration and movement enticing them to bite.

PHISHING LURES:  There are many different types of lures used for phishing. The most common types are link manipulation, fake websites, Session Hijacking, Malware, Mobile Phishing, and Voice Phishing. Phishing emails are designed to come from a legitimate source, like Amazon customer support, a bank, PayPal, or another recognized organization. Some phishing scams rely on devastating data breaches. 

FISHING WINNINGS: Sometimes you cash a check and sometimes you don’t.  It is all a matter of how many pounds are caught, with sometimes the difference in ounces being the winning factor.

PHISHING WINNINGS: Sometimes the scammer fools someone and sometimes they don’t. It’s generally not advisable to click on a link, an email or instant message, even if you know the sender. Some phishing attacks are sophisticated, and the destination URL can look like a carbon copy of the genuine site. If it is possible, go straight to the site through your search engine, rather than click on the link.

Here is a piece of advice.  Never give out any information if you suspect fraud, the email, link, or phone call could be a scam…. there might be a worm on the end of the line. Using the combination of finding the right spot, using the right bait, and finding the right fish can lead to the ultimate catch but, you do not want to be the fish/phish that bites.

- Gayleen Maurer, Senior Relationship Manager