Internet thieves like to go “phishing” (pronounced fishing) or “spoofing” on the Internet for consumers’ personal financial information using fake emails and websites to trick people into providing Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and other valuable details. They might include a familiar, trusted logo of established, real companies copied from a bank’s website or a link that looks like it goes to a bank’s site, but actually leads to a fake site.
If you are ever concerned about the security of your account, CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD IMMEDIATELY.
Or they pretend to be a boss, co-worker, friend or family member and ask you to send money to them via some kind of electronic funds transfer (like wiring money to their bank account, or paying into their bitcoin account, for instance). They make it seem that you need to act quickly – or something bad will happen. They might say your account will be frozen, you’ll fail to get a tax refund, your boss will get mad, even that a family member will be hurt or you could be arrested. They tell lies to get to you to give them information or send money.
If you receive any emails from anything asking you to send money anywhere, please confirm with that person directly in person or on the phone using a phone number you already know, before proceeding. Read here to learn more about how to protect yourself against email spoofs, hacks, and phishing attempts. Ever heard of vishing, pharming, or smishing? Vishing, pharming, and smishing details here.
How do I avoid being PHISHED, SCAMMED, or TRICKED?
Be suspicious of any email or communication (including text messages, social media post, ads) with urgent requests for work-related or personal financial information. Phishers typically include upsetting or exciting (but false) statements to get people to hand over their usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, date of birth, and other personal information.
Avoid clicking on suspicious links. Instead, go to the website by typing the Web address directly into your browser or by searching for it in a search engine. Calling the company to verify its legitimacy is also an option. Pay attention to the website you are being directed to and hover over the website address URL with your mouse to see where it is really taking you. An email that appears to be from PayPal could direct you to a website that really is not, and is instead “http://www.2paypal.com”or “hxxp://www.gotyouscammed.com/paypal/login.htm.”
Don’t send work-related or personal financial information via email, and avoid filling out forms in email that ask for your information. You should only communicate information such as credit card numbers or account information via a secure website or telephone.
This information was adapted from these sites: