Phishing Definition: Scammers Trying to Fool You into Giving Them Financial Info

Phising fraud background, red stamp on a grunge paper texture

Do go to one of the big search engines if you are in doubt about a website you received by email.The top search engine results will lead you to the real company.

Do delete emails from official sounding sites demanding information from you. The IRS, the Social Security Administration and Homeland Security, the U.S. Postal Service will not contact you this way. The solution is to hit the delete button. Better yet, inform the IRS, Social Security, Homeland Security or the Postal Service about fraud in their name. They will take action.
Don’t get fooled by phony jury notices by email, another scam. Your county or state will contact you by mail if you are up for jury duty. A favorite scheme is to send an email saying that you missed appearing for jury duty and now you must take immediate action to protect again prosecution. There will be something for you to click on and probably be “required” to furnish your driver’s license number. Don’t do it. Meet with them in person or initiate the telephone call to your town or county.

Don’t be fooled by a similar trick, which is to contact you by email that you have an outstanding parking ticket and you must immediately pay it by credit card or you will be arrested. Take down the information, delete the email and call the municipality from which the email supposedly came.

Don’t be alarmed by an email from a law enforcement agency saying that there is a warrant out for your arrest. The police don’t send emails or make telephone calls, they show in person.

Don’t be fooled by an email giving money away to you. Nobody but nobody gives money away. Delete the email without reading it. We are all familiar at this point with the Nigerian prince who wants to deposit $1 million in our checking account. All he or she needs is the account number!

Do take the following action if you mistakenly respond to a phishing scam:
1.Immediately change all of your passwords and PINS for your online accounts that could be compromised by your error;
2.Place a fraud alert on your credit reports at the three major credit reporting agencies;
3.If you clicked on a fraudulent email for a bank or another organization, contact that organization for help (If any new accounts were opened in your name, close them immediately);
4.Make a habit of reviewing all of your financial accounts at least once a month-that’s a good practice to always undertake.

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