Phishing For Your Identity

A Crash Course Phishing Education

Phishing is a relatively simple way for identity thieves to steal your personal and financial information. With little effort, identity thieves can disseminate phishing e-mails to millions of recipients; even if only a few respond, they may successfully collect enough information to devastate those individuals' personal finances.

Phishing E-mails LOOK Authentic

The most convincing phishing e-mails are accurately created so that they appear to be authentic. Obviously, unsolicited e-mails or those that are not well written or designed will not trick as many people, but it may be difficult to distinguish a phishing e-mail from a real e-mail sent by a financial institution, especially if you deal with that institution regularly and therefore expect e-mail correspondence.

Phishing e-mails that appear genuine trick people into revealing their information by asking them to verify their login ID, password or other personal information, which the scammer can then record and use to hack their account with the respective site.

For this reason, most reputable financial institutions regularly warn their customers of suspected phishing attempts and continually remind them that they will not ask for validation of personal information via an e-mail.

What To Do If You Suspect An E-mail Is A Phishing Scam

If you suspect an e-mail, the easiest way to avoid being scammed is to simply delete it. If you concerned that it appears authentic, do not use the link provided within the body of the e-mail itself. Visit the bona fide website and check your messages there to determine if any action on your part is, indeed, required.

If it turns out that the e-mail is actually fake, be sure to forward it to your financial institution so that they can warn other customers of the phishing scam.

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