How to protect yourself from PHISHING
The term “phishing” refers to a scam that encompasses fraudulently obtaining and using an individual’s personal or financial information. This is how it works:
- A consumer receives an e-mail which appears to originate from a financial institution, government agency or other well-known/reputable entity.
- The message describes an urgent reason you must “verify” or “re-submit” personal or confidential information by clicking on a link embedded in the message.
- The provided link appears to be the Web site of the financial institution, government agency or other well-known/reputable entity, but in “phishing” scams, the Web site belongs to the fraudster/scammer.
- Once inside the fraudulent Web site, the consumer may be asked to provide Social Security Numbers, account numbers, passwords or other information used to identify the consumer, such as the maiden name of the consumer’s mother or the consumer’s place of birth.
- When the consumer provides the information, those perpetrating the fraud can begin to access consumer accounts or assume the person’s identity.
Tips on how to avoid Phishing:
- If you receive an unexpected e-mail saying your account will be shut down unless you confirm your billing information, do not reply or click any links in the e-mail.
- Before submitting financial information through a Web site, look for the “lock” icon on the browser’s status bar. It means your information is secure during transmission.
- If you are uncertain about the information, contact the company through an address or telephone number you know to be genuine.
- If you unknowingly supplied personal or financial information, contact your bank and credit card company immediately.
- A suspicious e-mail can be forwarded to Click to Send to firstname.lastname@example.org