BBB offers tips so you don't get "hooked" by a phishing scam

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Scammers ran rampant in 2017, which is why the Better Business Bureau has reminders to keep you from falling victim in 2018.

Phishing was the most reported type of scam in Kansas last year, but the BBB said you won't get hooked, if you know what to look for.

"It seems like there's something new all the time, it’s really hard to keep up with,” said longtime Topeka resident Sharon Kenagy, who agrees phishing scams seem to be everywhere you look right now.

According to the Kansas Director of the Better Business Bureau Denise Groene, phishing is an attempt usually made through an email or a phone call, usually from a well-known organization, where they ask for personal information, ranging from a credit card number to an account number or password,

The problem for most folks is the scam can be difficult to spot.

“Well they sound innocent, I mean it sounds like maybe there is something wrong you know,” Kenagy said.

And it can be especially difficult with more crooks than ever trying to reel you in.

Kenagy said 20 years ago she would have never even thought about protecting herself from scammers.

Groene said we are seeing the increase in scams, because hackers are having success.

"So as we see them being successful in phishing attempts, due to a lack of education on the consumer part, we're going to see an increase in those types of scams,” Groene said.

The BBB said the first step to take to protect yourself is to be aware of how you may become a target.

"Make sure you're taking the time before you click to really look at that e-mail and understand who it's coming from,” Groene said.

For phone scams the BBB recommends letting that unknown number go to voicemail.

And one final bit of advice for cyber security, keep your wits about you, because things change fast in the world of technology.

"One thing that's really interesting is when we first started with computers they were almost invincible and now they are completely open,” Kenagy said.

The BBB also said to be aware of emails coming from a Gmail or Hotmail account, they say most legitimate businesses will not use a free email-based platform to send official correspondence.