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Recover lost money through phishing scams

Getting To Know

How do phishing scams work?

Phishing scams are a type of online scam where criminals impersonate a trusted person or legitimate company through text, email, advertisement or other means to steal sensitive information or funds. This form of social engineering attack is used to gain information such as login credentials, payment details or other sensitive information which is of importance to the victim. Phishing scams are one of the oldest forms of internet scams and they can affect anyone or any business, no matter the size. 

Phishing scams are reliant on tricking unsuspecting victims into taking action and sharing the requested information. There are numerous different types of phishing scams, some more common than others, but they all have the same outcome – getting victims to part with this information. 

Phishing scams try to create a sense of urgency for the victim to send the money or share important information, such as by threatening the closure of an account, losing out on a deal or promotion or even leading to the loss of their job. Often, those who fall for the scammer’s demands don’t take the time to stop and think about whether the demands could be part of a phishing scam.

No matter if a phishing scam campaign is targeted towards a specific group of individuals, or sent out to as many people as possible, they all tend to start the same way and that is with a malicious message, in a way that appears to be from a legitimate business or sends. The more aspects that a phishing scam message takes from a real person or business, then the more likely that the scam is going to be a success.

At Wealth Recovery Solicitors, we’ve helped our clients recover millions of pounds in lost funds through online and trading scams, including phishing scams. With phishing scams, as with other types of internet scams, it’s important to recognise the signs and know what to do next should you find that you’ve been the victim of such scams.


Different types of phishing scam attacks

Phishing attacks come in different forms. All of them are deceiving, however, most are detectable with the correct knowledge of how they operate:

Email phishing+

Posing as a trusted company such as your bank, credit card company or an e-commerce website to name a few, email phishing scams prompt you to click a link or download harmful malware. Creating a sense of urgency, they will often use time-sensitive prompts, stating ‘urgent’ in the email subject line, or request an action for your account that will have a negative outcome should the request be ignored. 

Spear phishing+

A more bespoke extension of email phishing, spear phishing involves gathering targeted information regarding a specific individual, and crafting emails based on their unique areas of interest such as emails from their employer, bank, and more. 

This type of phishing scam zooms in on victims and extracts as much information as possible to trick them into releasing sensitive data. For example, phishers may track details from your Twitter as to which trades you make regularly and find what crypto wallet you use. With this, they can replicate the emails from your broker and prompt you to type in your password, ultimately sharing access to your account. 


In recent years, smishing has become one of the most common phishing scams which can lead to mobile users having their information stolen. Using SMS texts, phishers will send out a large volume of texts posing as a reputable or recognisable organisation, prompting users to click open links that may infect their mobile with a virus, or even malware with the ability to steal sensitive information within the device.


A step up from spear phishing scams, whaling targets high-level employees or business owners who work closest and have the most access with the most sensitive information of a company. Phishers will create profiles matching colleagues of the executives requesting wire transfers, confidential information, or possibly a meeting request with a ‘Zoom link’ which truly contains malware that comprises the company’s data. 


Vishing attacks come in the form of a phone call from an individual impersonating a customer service representative. They will similarly create a sense of urgency like alternative phishing scams, suggesting a negative outcome should you refuse to cooperate effectively. Account details or financial transfers may be requested over the phone.

Clone Phishing+

Clone phishing can go unnoticed until it’s too late. Using look-alike emails, almost identical to the legitimate email in most cases, phishers copy an email ( one you would be familiar with/ have interacted with in the past) with minor changes to the sender address, and as suspected prompt victims to click a link or share sensitive information. 


Pharming is an intricate cyber attack invoking the attacker manipulating the internet address book (DNS) to send the online users to a fake website mimicking your intended website. This redirect can be a fake replica of your bank account, crypto wallet, or other personal websites in which a login will be prompted. Unlike traditional phishing scams, pharming scams are advanced and happen invisibly in the background. 

Further Information

Frequently asked questions

01.Why are phishing scams a problem?+

Phishing scams are an issue because they are a cheap and effective scam for criminals to carry out. The tactics used are particularly basic, such as email and messages, which means that they require very little cost and effort to set up, but can cause widespread and devastating cyber attacks which lead to the loss of large amounts in some instances. 

Victims of phishing scams may find that they not only lose out financially, but also experience identity theft and loss of personal data and information, which can be equally as devastating.

02.How to avoid phishing scams+

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different phishing scams in circulation and although scammers will regularly try to update their tactics to keep up with the latest trends and news, but there are still some common tactics that can be used in phishing scams. 

Use strong passwords

To keep your accounts secure, it is recommended that you use strong passwords, avoiding using the same one for multiple logins. You should also look to implement two-factor authentication on accounts where this is possible. Doing this then gives you an additional layer of protection when signing into accounts.

Always be cautious when opening unknown emails

Whenever you are opening emails from an unknown sender, you should exercise caution. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments, as these could be all you need to become a victim to a phishing scam. If an email looks legit, but there are some suspicious signs, such as misspelt words or bad grammar, then always check the sender’s address – if you’re still unsure, then you can search the email address and see if it is legitimate. 

Don’t ignore updates

Many people put off updating their devices and, whilst it can sometimes be time-consuming to update, this can be one of the best defences against phishing scams. Updates will contain important security measures and, if left for a long period of time, this can put you at risk. 

03.Where does the word phishing come from?+

The word “phishing” derives from fishing, because of the way that the criminals will dangle a “lure” in the form of a legitimate email, ad, text message or website in the hope that someone will “bite”, much like in fishing. They will then provide the criminal with the information that has been requested, such as account numbers, passwords, payment card details and usernames.

04.How to prevent a phishing attack+

Preventive methods are the best first line of defence against phishing scams. First, be sure to never click links or attachments from emails or text messages that you were not expecting. Suspicious links are one of the most common ways in which phishing scammers can obtain information, in addition to downloading malware onto your device.

Secondly, to prevent a phishing scam from taking place you should carefully examine the emails, numbers, and website URLs you received information from/ are being directed to. As typical for clone phishing scams, phishers will create emails and websites that are almost identical to trusted organisations. Whilst undetectable with a simple glance, taking a close look for any mistakes will reveal whether they are legitimate or replicas.

Additionally, it is always important to set up 2-factor authentication where possible, as this can prevent phishers from accessing your accounts even with passwords and account information. Ensuring that your passwords are unique and different for each sensitive account you have access to is also essential and should be regularly changed with company changes, and shared access.

05.My crypto wallet has been hacked from a phishing scam, what can I do?+

Phishing has been a prominent method for stealing cryptocurrency and hacking crypto wallets in recent years. If your crypto accounts have been infiltrated as a result of phishing scams, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team here at Wealth Recovery Solicitors. Whilst we can not guarantee the retrieval of your funds, we can offer bespoke and experienced advice based on our years of experience. Please contact our team today and do not leave your funds in the hands of phishing scammers for much longer.

Victim of a Scam?

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We understand that being the victim of a phishing scam can be tough to handle, but we hope that our support, action and guidance can enable you to recover lost funds and regain a sense of confidence and security in making trades and investments online.


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