Phishing is the act of sending out spoof e-mails and setting up fake Web sites that imitate legitimate, trusted companies, such as financial institutions. The goal is to deceive members into giving up personal information for fraudulent use.
The Anti-Phishing Working Group offers several tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of phishing scams, including:
- - Be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for personal financial information
- - Don't use the links in an email to get to any web page, if you suspect the message might not be authentic
- - Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask for personal financial information
- - Always ensure that you're using a secure website when submitting credit card or other sensitive information via your Web browser
- - Consider installing a Web browser tool bar to help protect you from known phishing fraud websites
- - Regularly log into your online accounts and regularly check your account statements to ensure that all transactions are legitimate
- - Ensure that your browser is up to date and security patches applied
- - Always report "phishing" or spoofed e-mails to the necessary agencies including the Federal - Trade Commission and the Internet Crime Complaint Center of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
More information can be found at the Federal Trade Commission's website on Identity Theft at http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/.