Protect Yourself From Scams
Phishing refers to attempts to steal personal financial information, such as credit card numbers, account usernames/passwords, and social security numbers, through fraudulent e-mails, phone calls (vishing), text messages (smshing) and web sites that will be used for fraudulent purposes.
How phishing works:
- You receive an e-mail or text message which appears to originate from a financial institution, government agency or other well-known or reputable entity.
- The fraudulent message usually provides a link and an urgent message that directs the user to visit a web site that looks authentic or provides a number to call where they must verify or update personal information, such as passwords, credit card, social security number and bank account numbers which the legitimate organization already has.
- The web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user's information.
How to Avoid Phishing:
- Do not reply to these messages or visit web sites included in e-mails warning that your account will be shut down unless your information is confirmed
- Do not send sensitive data such as passwords, account numbers or social security numbers in response to an e-mail or text message
- Do not reveal a personal/financial information or site password to anyone. Your bank has this information
- Do not click on links in an e-mail. Go directly to the company main site
- Contact the company in the e-mail by using a telephone number or web site address you know to be genuine
- Before submitting financial information through a web site, look for the "lock" icon on the browser status bar to ensure your information is secure during transmission
- Report suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.