Phishing emails usually claim, falsely, to be from a legitimate enterprise and direct the receivers to fraudulent, "spoofed" web sites to update or enter personal information. That information, such as passwords, credit cards, social security, and bank account numbers will all potentially be used for identity theft.
Here are some things you can do to help protect yourself.
- Be wary of any email with an urgent request for personal financial information.
- Be wary of emails that have some personal information. Phishers are becoming more sophisticated and may include some stolen personal information in an attempt to gain your trust.
- Never respond to an email requesting personal information.
- Only communicate information, such as credit card numbers or account information via a secure web site or through a phone call you initiate. Ensure that the site's URL starts with https:// when passing sensitive information and look for a lock/key symbol in the lower right-hand corner of your browser window.
- Regularly log on to your online accounts and check your bank, credit and debit card statements to ensure all transactions are legitimate. Early detection is critical in reducing fraud. An advantage of online banking is the ease of regularly checking your account activity.
- When in doubt contact your financial institution or vendor directly.