Phishing scams can take many forms. Sometimes scammers use fraudulent emails or texts or mimic websites that you trust to get you to share confidential, personal information – like account numbers, Social Security Numbers, or usernames and passwords. Phishing scammers usually give their targets a false sense of security because they make the text message, email, or website look like one the victim is familiar with. Worst of all, they usually make the message seem extremely urgent or there will be negative consequences.
Protect yourself by following the tips below:
- Be cautious opening attachments or clicking links in emails. Even your friend or family members’ accounts could be hacked so be careful about opening attachments you weren’t expecting or clicking on links – even if they come from someone you know.
- Do your own typing. If a company or organization you know sends you a link or a phone number, don’t click. Use a search engine to look up the phone number. Even though a link or phone number in an email may look legitimate, scammers have done this intentionally to make you trust the fraudulent site.
- Make the call if you’re not sure. Don’t respond to any emails that request personal or financial information. If you think a company, friend or someone in your family really does need the personal information call them using the phone number on the website or in your address book.
- Turn on two-factor authentication. For accounts that support it, two-factor authentication requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log into your account. The second piece could be a code sent to your phone and this protects you even if your password is compromised.
- Keep your security up to date. Use security software that you trust and make sure you set it to update automatically.
If you think you’ve received a phishing email or text make sure to report it immediately. Forward phishing emails to [email protected] and to the organization impersonated in the email. For more information about how you can protect yourself visit SEFCU’s Security Section.