While there are many different types of cybercrime, there is one that pops up more often than others. Phishing scams account for over 90% of data breaches within business organizations. 

In 2022, there were more than 300,000 reported incidents of phishing scams. This figure only accounts for reported cases; the real total is likely higher. So what is phishing and how can you avoid becoming a victim of this scam? Well, we’re glad you asked. 

What is Phishing?

According to AAG, phishing is when cyber criminals send you an ill-intended message that contains a malicious link and is designed to get you to click on the link in order to give away valuable personal or business information. In addition, Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report states that over 96% of phishing attacks occurred through email. Although the majority of phishing scams come from email, they are also possible to receive via text message or phone call. 

The main motive for phishing scams is typically financial gain. Many times, the message will relate to needing financial information for verification.

Phishing involves obtaining personal data. This may include Social Security Numbers, bank details, passwords, credit card details, and other information. Such data can be used to imitate you or gain access to your accounts. 

How to Notice and Avoid Phishing Scams

When you know what to look for, you can outsmart scammers and keep your information safe. Scammers are becoming more advanced.

Knowing the signs of phishing attempts can help protect you. By being aware, you can avoid becoming a victim of their scams. Here are a few things to look for:


Words like “urgent” or “important” should be a cause for concern. If something is really that important, an email wouldn’t necessarily be the quickest pathway to reach someone. These words are meant to cause panic and get you to act fast in order to resolve the issue. When you feel as if you’re in a rush, you ignore those red flags and immediately fall into their trap.

When you notice these words, don’t act right away. Pause and double-check the original sender. If it is from an organization instead of an individual person, proceed with caution.

If you are unsure, you can contact the number on the organization’s official website and inquire about the email in question. In addition, if they aren’t familiar with the problem the email originally alerted you about, it’s most likely a scam. 


When it comes to anything regarding finances or financial information, take extreme caution. If you believe your bank has sent you an email with suspicious activity or anything regarding your account’s safety, it’s most likely not real. 

According to TD Stories, your bank will never ask you to reveal personal information, threaten to close your account, rush you into making a decision on the spot, help with an investigation, ask you to transfer any type of currency or request access to your computer or mobile devices. If your bank calls with any variation of these questions, it is a scam.


Scammers are getting more and more sophisticated. They can send emails that give the impression they are from within your organization. Or, they may make it appear they are someone you know outside of work. This is a popular way for scammers to lure you with names or cadences that might be familiar to you. 

Working in an office with other employees? Take this precaution: Go to your coworker and ask if they have sent you an email recently. If they have not, it’s most likely a phishing attempt. It’s safer to ask your coworker a simple question than potentially giving away important information. 

The best way to avoid phishing scams is through a firewall, updating your software and regularly changing your passwords. With the right tools and people, you can protect your business and prevent the risks of cyberattacks and data breaches.

It is essential to have a reliable company like Advanced Office Systems to provide Cybersecurity protection. This ensures the safety and security of both the employees and the company. By implementing security and data protection solutions, our expert technicians work to keep your company safe from threats, allowing you to focus on your business and gain peace of mind. Learn more about Cybersecurity and Managed IT Solutions with Advanced Office Systems.