Protect Yourself From Scams

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.