Cyber criminals are getting smarter and savvier. The latest trend is called “spear phishing.” 

Scammers have learned that email is one of the best ways to spread viruses and malware to collect sensitive information such as home addresses, passwords and bank account numbers. 

They send an email or call you claiming to be a legitimate financial institution or business. 

It’s not legitimate. It’s a scam. 

President/CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, Sharane Gott, says, “What happens is you give up all your personal information and then something like identify theft happens so spear phishing is a bad thing.” 

According to the Federal Trade Commission, this is what spear phishing is: when scammers call or email with specific details about you, asking you to verify information like your social security number or bank account. 

“Phishing is going to look for personal information to create maybe a fake identity or just get your personal information in order to make their life better and yours miserable,” says Gott. 

News Ten reports, “Scammers are targeting victims through emails through phone calls, both?” 

Gott explains, “Yeah, they’re targeting. It’s both emails and phone calls. Essentially these days it’s anything that works. It’s just that simple. If it works, they’re going to do it and they’re going to keep trying and keep trying and that’s what they do. They wouldn’t keep doing it if it didn’t work.” 

Experts say these scammers are from out of the country. 

“They don’t care about any of that,” adds Gott. “What we tell them they don’t even understand half the time. All they’re worried about is one thing… your good name that they can turn into good money for them.” 

 News Ten reports, “It looks like a real number calling you?” 

 “They can call, but you don’t have to answer. If you don’t know who it is, don’t answer the phone. How desperate are we to talk to somebody on the phone. Let’s not do that,” says Gott. 

Here’s how you can avoid these scam tactics: 

  • Most companies and/or banks don’t request personal information by either phone or email. 

  • Don’t assume your caller ID is proof of whom you’re dealing with. Scammers can make it look like they’re calling from a company or number you trust. 

  • Don’t trust someone just because they have personal information about you.     scammers have ways of getting that information. 

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at

Experts say to also change your passwords four times a year. Strong passwords will help keep cybercriminals at bay. 

Experts also say to be cautious of what you share on your social networks. That’s the information criminals like to use in their phishing emails.