The Teachers’ Pension Scheme recently released an online security alert.
Fraudsters are sending communications to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme members requesting their personal information. This is a phishing email using the fake email address email@example.com. These emails should be reported to the National Cyber Security Centre, and no other further action should be taken.
What is a phishing email?
Phishing emails are sent by criminals to scam you out of your personal information, such as your name, address, date of birth and bank details. Often, the aim isn’t to directly scam you by outwardly asking for this information but to encourage you to visit a website that then downloads a virus onto your computer and then steal this information without you knowing.
The advice from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme is to check the source of communications thoroughly before clicking.
How to spot a phishing email
If the advice is to be wary of fake emails, how can you judge right from wrong? Some tell-tale signs might alert you.
First, the phishing email will tend to be from someone with authority, claiming to be important enough to directly impact your world.
There will be a sense of urgency, and you will be expected to respond immediately.
The message will act on your emotions, usually using fear to prompt an immediate response.
Scarcity is another strategy used, as they play on your fear of mission out.
Finally, they will use current events to make the approach seem valid. The recent changes to the pension scheme were a perfect ruse for such communication.
If in doubt
If you have any doubts, you should not reply to the email. Instead, you should go to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme website and use the contact form available there.
It is always better to be cautious when replying to unexpected communication.
The content in this article was correct on 28th February 2022. You should not rely on this article to make important financial decisions. Teachers Financial Planning offers advice on pensions for teachers and non-teachers. Please use the contact form below to arrange an informal chat with an advisor and see how we can help you.