|Prevent Phishing Tip Sheet|
- Never give out personal or financial information in response to unsolicited emails.
- If it you think that an e-mail has come from a reputable source you should still not respond by sending them information about yourself. Instead call the institution using contact numbers you have already, not a number from the e-mail.
- Be able to recognize a phishing attempt.
- Key words will often be misspelled in order to avoid spam filters.
- Companies will almost always address you by your name or username. Phishers will often use generic greetings, such as "Hello Valued Customer." Greetings like this should cause you to be suspicious.
- Account cancellation and suspension warning are often used to scare someone into divulging personal and financial information. Companies do not usually request urgent personal and financial information through e-mail.
- Install anti-virus and firewall software.
- Some phishing e-mails will try and trick you into opening files containing a virus or malicious code. Installing a firewall will give you extra protection from these types of threats while your anti-virus software will be essential to detect viruses and malicious code that has gotten past the firewall.
- Check your credit card and bank statements on a regular basis.
- If a scammer has gained access to your accounts most companies will refund you for any fraudulent transactions, but there is often a time limit to report the fraud. That is why it is essential to keep a close eye on your accounts. Don't carry too many credit cards because it will make you more vulnerable to phishing and identity theft. Cancel cards that you rarely use and make sure the cards have your correct address and contact information.
- Report phishing attacks immediately!
- If you believe you have received a phishing attack, you can report it to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at http://www.ifccfbi.gov. The Anti-Phishing Working Group, http://www.antiphishing.org, is also a good resource for information on various phishing scams.
- If you think that you have been scammed by someone notify all of your account holders immediately and contact the credit bureaus and request a fraud alert on your credit files