More and more often nowadays, phishers are using malicious links and faulty e-mails to scam and phish people online. These attacks rely on the same basic strategy: To trick you into providing your financial or personal information — often by masquerading as a trusted source such as your bank, credit card company, friend, relative or even a government agency. If you’re not careful, scam artists can use such ill-begotten information to make unauthorized purchases, access your bank account or potentially commit identity theft.
So how does one catch and report these phishers before it's too late? To the average person this may seem nearly impossible as phishers tend to disguise themselves as people you know, so getting to the true source of their identity might seem tricky, but here's how to start:
- Identify the domain(s) involved by feeding the malicious link through https://checkshorturl.com
- Take the domain(s) you find, and run them through http://whois.net
- Find the "Abuse" contact associated with each domain, and send them an email with the time the email was recieved.
- If you're feeling ambitious, perform an nslookup against the domain(s), and then run the IP addresses you find through either http://whois.net or http://bgp.he.net
- That will tell you who actually hosts the server that the malicious content came from. You can then email the "Abuse" contacts for those hosting providers.
When phishers are reported, many mail hosting sites like Google and Microsoft block their communication, so they won't be able to send out any more phishing e-mails. It is good to report phishing e-mails and scams so that they can be stopped and no one else will be affected. It is also important to have a conversation with the person or companies the phisher is trying to impersonate so that they are aware that their identity has been hacked.