CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Designed to look like a regular e-mail from your bank or even from your place of work. Inspector Chip Googe from the Mount Pleasant Police Department warns phishing e-mails lead to computer hacks and compromised information.
“So if your bank sends you an e-mail, you’ll click on the link, it’ll ask you your information, you’re thinking that it’s legitimate, and you’re putting in your own information for somebody to use your ID somewhere else,” said Inspector Googe.
Googe believes it can be hard to identify phishing e-mails but suggests there is some giveaways.
“A lot of the times, the e-mail, like if it’s from your bank will look exactly like that,” Googe said. “The template will be the same. But look at the from address when you receive it.”
It might have what looks like your exact bank information, except maybe one number is different. If you’re not expecting an e-mail from your bank or work, don’t click on any links in the e-mail.
“Most of these businesses already have your information,” Inspector Googe said. “So they’re not going to send you an e-mail asking you for your information.”
Sometimes clicking on that un-known link can send a virus to your computer, like ransomware, which can be difficult to deal with.
“If you click on this file it’ll encrypt a lot of the files on your computer, and then you’ll have to pay the ransom to get them to un-encrypt your files,” said Inspector Googe.
And if you’ve been hacked, Inspector Googe said there are ways to get your computer information back.
“Turn your computer off and then maybe take it to someone that specializes in that type of malware or ransomware,” Inspector Googe said. “And you can always give us a call if you’ve been affected we’ll look into it if it’s something we can investigate a little bit further, we’ll be happy to take it a little bit further.”
Backing up your computer can also limit the chance of losing files in the event your computer gets hacked.