Phishing is a method scammers use to obtain confidential information via email and the practice is growing. This new favorite sport of scammers comes in a convincing disguise, making it easy for recipients of these phishing emails to be fooled.
How it Works
The scammer sends an email pretending to be your financial institution or retailer. They make a claim that is intended to get you to click a link in the email. If you read anything prompting you to give out personal information, delete the email immediately. Reputable companies will not ask for personal information via email.
Recently, scammers have taken this one step further by having hyperlinks in their emails download a program to your computer that facilitates the passing on of sensitive data, such as passwords or financial information. To protect your identity, never click a link or install a program from an unsolicited email.
Avoid Being Phished
Be skeptical — If you rarely use the account or anything about the email or website looks unusual, call your financial institution (or online retailer) to verify that the email is legitimate. SEFCU never requests confidential information via unsecure email.
Check for the secure site "padlock" — Secure sites normally show a closed padlock icon at the bottom of the screen to indicate you are entering confidential information in a secure environment. Without it, chances are your data isn't secure.
Check the properties — Right click on any web page and you should see a list of properties, including the web address of the site. If you right click and don't get a list of properties or the web address does not match your financial institution's, don't enter any information.
If you think a scammer has obtained your personal information, contact your financial institution immediately. Waiting for the scammer to use your information could cripple your credit and your financial well-being.