Helping you spot the red flags of phishing, other scams

Avoid falling victim to scammers by following these simple steps

VIDEO: Jennifer Waugh gives advice on how to protect your information.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Only 5% of people were able to correctly identify all types of online security scams, according to a recent survey from

Nearly everyone -- 96% -- knew about phishing -- but just 5% could spot the various ways hackers could access their personal information.

That's because scammers are constantly finding new ways to reach their victims.

The Morning Show wants to help you spot the red flags. Phishing scams will often prey on emotions, using fear -- like a new scam claiming to offer information about the Wuhan coronavirus -- or sympathy -- a new clickbait scam encourages users to click on links about Kobe Bryant.

Don't take the bait. Once you click those links you'll be infected by harmful software.

Some simple steps can help you can avoid ending up on a scammer’s hook. A scam that went out to more than a million Netflix subscribers had some red flags if you looked closely.

Check the email address of the person contacting you. Is it spelled correctly? Were you expecting an email from this person or website? Is the message missing your name or does it use bad grammar or spelling? Does it ask for personal information, a password, or an urgent payment?

If so, you should consider calling the sender directly. Also don’t click on any unexpected attachments or links.

You can protect your computer by using antivirus software and protect your accounts by using multi-factor authentication that requires a code be sent to your phone after you've entered your password correctly.

If you think a scammer already has your information, like your Social Security number, credit card or bank account number, go to

There, you will find specific steps based on the information you’ve lost. You can also report phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission at

‘Smishing’ scams

Scammers are evolving, and they’re always looking for new ways to steal your information.

Now, criminals are faking text messages, and they look just like the real deal.

It’s called “smishing.”

You may have received two popular ones that started circulating last month.

One claiming a military draft had started -- and threatening the receiver with a fine or jail time if they did not respond.

It was really a ploy, though, to steal your information.

There were also messages claiming to be from FedEx asking you about delivering a package you might have been expecting.

VIDEO: Jennifer Waugh reports on how you can protect yourself from text messgae scams.

People who clicked the link were sent to a fake Amazon customer satisfaction survey, offering gifts, but again, it was a scam.

Here’s what you need to always remember:

  • Beware of messages that claim to be from government agencies, such as the IRS, or Social Security Administration.
  • Beware of texts that try to rush you or threaten you with a penalty if you don’t respond.
  • Never click embedded links from suspicious messages. They can contain malicious code that could infect your phone.
  • Don’t respond, even if the message says you can text “STOP” to prevent future messages. A response only confirms your number is in use.

You should also alert law enforcement by submitting a report to the FCC or the Federal Trade Commission.

Keeping you and your family safe from scams the four legitimate companies crooks are using to try and steal your money.

About the Author:

Jennifer, who anchors The Morning Shows and is part of the I-TEAM, loves working in her hometown of Jacksonville.