Phishing - Identity Theft & Credit Card Fraud
What is Phishing?
How does Phishing Work?
How can I identify a scam e-mail?
Often new websites are registered with altered spellings of major corporations and organizations, or the link will lead directly to an IP address (ie 184.108.40.206) instead of a website domain (ie www.website.com).
Another very quick way to identify a false e-mail is to see who it is address to. Normally e-mails that are fraudulent in nature are addressed to "Dear Customer" as opposed to your real name, and often they are e-mailed to many users at one time.
No legitimate organization should ever ask you to provide you with personal information via e-mail. If any e-mail ever asks you to e-mail them your private information, you should report this e-mail to the company they are posing as.
How can I avoid falling for a Phishing scam?
Using the same method to get to the website as mentioned above, go to the organizations help page or contact page and ask them about the e-mail they may have sent you. You can also forward them the e-mail to a known legitimate e-mail address at their organization.
What if I already fell for this scam?
Report that you have been tricked to the company that you thought you were legitimately updating information for. If you can provide them with the e-mail that tricked you, it may be useful for helping to reduce the impact on other people around the world.
Change all your passwords and PIN numbers for all your financial institutions and websites immediately.
Monitor your credit card statements, financial slips and balances. If you notice a discrepancy, immediately contact your financial organization and let them know about the fraudulent activity. In addition most banks should be able to add you to a fraud report list that will stay on your credit report that will make it harder for people to create new credit cards or open accounts without providing legitimate identification in person. Finally, you should contact your local police or law enforcement organization and file an incident report to cover yourself should illegal activities happen!
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