15 February 2024

Angler phishing is a sneaky predator that lives in the muddy depths of the internet, where social media sites are full of people interacting with each other online. Angler Phishing is different from other phishing attacks because it only targets specific people and makes its lures fit their complaints and how they act online. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) recently released a study that shows social media-based phishing attacks will rise by 38% in 2023. Angler Phishing is one of the main reasons for this.

When you complain about bad customer service on social media, imagine being called by a "representative" who seems friendly and offers to fix the problem right away. This is the bait that Angler Phishing uses to trick people. Attackers lurk on social media sites, looking for unhappy customers and sending them personalized notes to get them to trust them. People who get tricked into sharing private data or clicking on harmful links put themselves at risk of data breaches and losing money.

Do not worry, though, digital people! You can avoid falling for Angler Phishing if you know what makes it different and do things carefully. This guide will help you stay safe on social media by teaching you how to spot fishy behavior, keep your information safe, and use the sites without fear. Remember that being aware of the latest cyber dangers is the best way to protect yourself. So jump in with us, learn to spot the fisherman's lures, and be ready to safely and securely navigate the digital waves.

What Is Angler Phishing?

Angler phishing emerges as a sophisticated scam where attackers impersonate customer support on social media platforms. Their goal is to deceive customers into disclosing personal information by exploiting their dissatisfaction.

The term "angler phishing" is inspired by the anglerfish, known for its predatory technique of luring its prey with a lighted lure before consumption. Similarly, angler phishers lure their targets by creating fake social media accounts, often imitating financial organizations, to trap unsuspecting users. These users, seeking customer support via platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, are misled by these counterfeit accounts into performing actions that lead them to sites controlled by attackers.

Mechanics of Angler Phishing

This form of phishing specifically targets customers voicing their frustrations or issues with a service on social media. An instance of this could involve customers facing problems with their banking services. The attacker, seizing the opportunity, forges a fake profile to offer help as a customer support agent.

In the guise of providing assistance, the attacker may ask for personal details or urge the customer to click a link, supposedly to rectify the issue. However, this link redirects the victim to a fraudulent site designed to harvest banking information or could potentially infect the victim's system with malware.

Potential Targets of Angler Phishing

When it comes to misleading practices, angler phishing targets a lot of different people and businesses on a lot of different social media sites. Anyone can become a victim, but some groups are more likely to be targeted because they are more well known, use certain services, or connect with others in public in a certain way on social media. Here's a more in-depth look at the people who might be targeted by fish phishing:

Customers of financial institutions: People who use banks and other financial services are easy targets because they deal with private information. Attackers pose as customer service reps to get financial information, login passwords, and personal identification information.

People who buy things from stores: People who often interact with stores on social media for customer service problems like asking questions or making complaints about products can be easy targets. Angler phishers take advantage of these exchanges to get personal or credit card information.

Healthcare Patients: As healthcare services become more digital, patients who talk about their doctors or insurance problems online may come across angler scams. The goal of these attacks could be to get personal health information, insurance information, or even login information for healthcare websites.

Telecommunications Subscribers: Users who are complaining or asking their telecom companies for help are easy targets. Phishers may ask for account information in order to steal your name or make changes to your account without your permission.

People who use utility services: People who talk about utilities like power, water, or the internet can be targeted by angler phishers who want to steal and change customer questions for their own gain.

Affiliates of Educational Institutions: People who deal with students, parents, and staff at educational institutions on social media for admissions, billing, or support could be targeted in order to get personal identification or financial information.

Corporate Accounts: People who work for small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that don't have a lot of cybersecurity tools but are in charge of their companies' social media accounts are at risk. Attackers may try to get into an organization's network by tricking people into giving them information.

Technology Users: People who use social networks to look for help with software or hardware goods could be targets. Angler phishers might pretend to be tech help, which could cause people to install malware or give out private information without meaning to.

The Success of Angler Phishing

The effectiveness of angler phishing lies in exploiting the anticipation for a response from their service providers on social media, coupled with the natural delay in official responses. The attackers exploit the victim's frustration or lack of vigilance. Many users overlook the need to verify the authenticity of the profile reaching out to them, missing signs such as the verification checkmark or inconsistencies in the account's service history.

Steering Clear of Angler Phishing

Recognizing angler phishing is the first step toward defense. Due to its dependency on social engineering, traditional email phishing safeguards might not suffice. Here’s how to fortify against it:

  • Verify the Company Account: Always confirm the authenticity of any account that contacts you. Look for verification checkmarks on platforms like Instagram and Twitter, indicative of legitimacy. Scrutinize the account for any spelling errors, follower count, and service history.
  • Consult the Company’s Official Contact Channels: Cross-reference any social media account with the official website’s contact information to ensure it's a recognized customer support channel.
  • Directly Tag Official Support Accounts: Considering the swift expected on social media, directly tagging or mentioning official support accounts of large organizations can be safer. Engage only with responses from these tagged accounts.

Angler phishing preys on the unsuspecting and the impatient. By verifying the legitimacy of social media interactions and remaining vigilant, users can protect themselves from falling victim to these deceptive tactics.

Effective Approach For Avoiding Phishing

Angler phishing, a sophisticated form of cyber deception that impersonate customer support on social media to swindle personal information, has become increasingly prevalent. Staying a step ahead requires being informed about the latest protective strategies. Here are the seven best and latest tips to safeguard yourself against angler phishing attacks:

  • Always Verify Contact Authenticity: Before engaging with any customer support representative on social media, verify the account's authenticity. Look for verified account symbols, typically a blue checkmark, and scrutinize the account's follower count and activity history for legitimacy signs.
  • Use Official Channels for Sensitive Communications: Whenever possible, use a company's official website or verified customer support channels for any communication involving personal information. If in doubt, contact the company directly through its official website or customer service phone number.
  • Educate Yourself on Social Media Security Settings: Familiarize yourself with the security and privacy settings on your social media platforms. Limiting who can see your posts or contact you can reduce the risk of being targeted by angler phishers.
  • Be Skeptical of Unsolicited Assistance: Be cautious if you receive unsolicited support or contact from a supposed company representative, especially if you haven't publicly reached out for help. This unsolicited approach is a common tactic used by cybercriminals.
  • Do Not Click on Suspicious Links: Avoid clicking on links from unverified sources. Phishers often use malicious links to direct victims to fake websites where personal and financial information is stolen. If you must access a link, hover over it first to preview the URL and ensure it's legitimate.
  • Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Use MFA on your social media accounts to add an extra layer of security. Even if cybercriminals obtain your password, the additional verification step can prevent unauthorized access.
  • Regularly Update Your Passwords: Ensure your passwords are strong and unique across different platforms. Regularly updating your passwords can help protect your accounts from being compromised.

By integrating these strategies into your digital routine, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to angler phishing. Remember, vigilance and informed caution are your best defenses against the evolving tactics of cybercriminals. Stay updated on the latest cybersecurity threats and protective measures to navigate the digital world safely.


Angler phishing is a sophisticated cyber threat that targets people on social media sites by taking advantage of the trust that customers have in companies. Attackers trick users into giving up private information by pretending to be customer service. For online safety, it's important to know what angler hacking is. It's important to make sure that conversations on social media are real, and you should be careful about giving out personal information online. Being aware and alert are important ways to protect yourself from these kinds of tricks. By acquiring deeper knowledge of what is angler phishing, people can make themselves much less likely to fall for this sophisticated cyber deception. At SafeAeon, you can seek top-notch cybersecurity products and services for impeccable results.

Why Do You Need Our Services

SafeAeon's 24×7 SOC operates ceaselessly to watch over, identify, and counter cyber attacks, ensuring your business remains resilient and unharmed

Watchguard It Infrastructure

24/7 Eyes On Screen

Rest easy with SafeAeon's continuous vigilance for your IT infrastructure. Our dedicated security analysts ensure prompt threat detection and containment.

Cybersecurity Price

Unbeatable Prices

Access cutting-edge cybersecurity products through SafeAeon's unbeatable deals. Premium solutions at competitive prices for top-tier security.

Threat Intelligence

Threat Intelligence

Stay ahead with SafeAeon's researched Threat Intelligence Data. Clients enjoy free access for informed and proactive cybersecurity strategies.

IT Team

Extended IT Team

Seamlessly integrate SafeAeon with your IT team. Strengthen controls against risks and threats with expert recommendations for unified security.

Ready to take control of your Security?

We are here to help

Reach out to schedule a demo with our team and learn how SafeAeon SOC-as-a-Service can benefit your organization