WHAT IS PHISHING?
Phishing is the act of sending an email that appears to
be from a legitimate organization to a large email list
with the hope of luring some users into giving out
personal financial information. The email is the bait,
and you are the phish.
HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM?
There were nearly 13,000 unique phishing scams
reported in 2004. In 2003, 1.8 million Americans gave
out their personal information in phishing scams. It
can happen to anyone.
HOW CAN I DETECT PHISHING?
We will never ask for your account number, social
security number, or any other personal financial
identification information in an email. No matter how
official the email may look, if the sender is asking for
any personal information, it is likely a phishing scam.
Do not click on links in these emails. If you are
unsure, type the URL of the sender into your web
HOW CAN I AVOID BEING HOOKED?
Do not reply to or click on a link in an e-mail that
warns you, with little notice or prior legitimate
expectation that an account of yours will be shut
down unless you confirm your billing information.
Instead, contact the company cited in the e-mail using
an authenticated telephone number or other form of
communication that you are sure is genuine.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I CAN DO?
Always make sure your internet browser has the latest
security patches, downloaded directly from the
browser creator’s website. Never click on a browser
update sent to you in an email.
Also, keep an eye on your accounts. Report any
suspicious account activity--it could be a phisher at
work. Report suspicious activity to the FTC. Send the
actual phishing e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT IF I THINK I’VE BEEN HOOKED?
Call the real institution the phishing email was purporting to be. If they have no record of asking for your information, cancel or change your account immediately to minimize the damage.
REMEMBER: WE WILL NEVER ASK FOR YOUR PERSONAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION THROUGH AN EMAIL.
If you have questions or concerns, contact us, and we’ll be happy to address them.