Phishing is a form of fraud in which the attacker tries to gain information such as login credentials or account information by masquerading as a reputable entity or person in email, website or other communication channels.
Typically a victim receives a message that appears to have been sent by a known contact or organization. An attachment or links in the message may install a virus on the user’s device or direct them to a malicious website set up to trick them into divulging personal and financial information, such as passwords, social security numbers, account IDs or credit card details.
SAFETY TIPS TO AVOID PHISHING
Delete email and text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information (credit card and bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords, etc.). Legitimate companies don’t ask for this information via email or text.
The messages may appear to be from organizations you do business with – banks, for example. They might threaten to close your account or take other action if you don’t respond.
Don’t reply, and don’t click on links or call phone numbers provided in the message, either. These messages direct you to spoof sites – sites that look real but whose purpose is to steal your information so a scammer can run up bills or commit crimes in your name.
Area codes can mislead, too. Some scammers ask you to call a phone number to update your account or access a “refund.” But a local area code doesn’t guarantee that the caller is local.
If you’re concerned about your account or need to reach an organization you do business with, call the number on your financial statements or on the back of your credit card.
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