If you haven't heard about this, I think I am deeply envious of you. It likely means you live a life that has next to no contact with the news at large, and especially social media. But, for the other 99% of us we all know Facebook (and it's child companies like Instagram, WhatsApp, and some others all went offline on October 4th somewhere in the middle of the day (EST). Conspiracy theories about the outage started in record time, but the real reason behind it all - at least from what they're disclosing - is an issue with BGP. You're likely wondering what BGP is, but frankly you should be a hell of a lot more concerned with the hidden implications of what this outage meant for many.
Phishing scams have been around for decades, but in recent years they have become far more advanced due to the incredible amount of your data that has been leaked to the world. It's important to understand some of the methods being used today, as to ensure you do not fall prey to a would-be attacker. I want to be clear, this is by no means intended to be a complete guide to phishing simply to shed some light some of the more recent advancements in how the scams are operated.
Let's backup a second and explain the roots of what a phishing scam is. Phishing by definition is a cyber crime in which a target is contacted by email, phone, text message, or otherwise to try and lure the target into revealing sensitive information to the attacker. Attackers can pretend to be nearly anyone, so it's important to always be astute, no matter how legitimate you may believe a message could be. Typical scams include attackers posing as a financial institution (bank or credit card), a popular store (Walmart, Amazon, Costco, etc), or even as sneaky as being a friend or family member.