Phishing is a crime where cybercriminals use communications tools like email, websites, and telephone calls to steal money or personal information. Criminals accomplish this by using these communications tools to install malicious software on an individual’s personal computer, or to convince an individual to download something off of a website. Once the criminals have achieved their objectives, an individual’s identity and personal finances are in jeopardy.

Signs of phishing include:

  • Poor Spelling and Bad Grammar
  • Links in an email from an unknown source
  • Threats
  • Spoofs of popular websites or companies
  • Phone calls offering to help solve computer problems or selling software licenses

For protection against phishing, customers should do the following:

  • Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism
  • If a threat is made to you, verify the locations of family members and do not respond to emails threatening to shut down internet services ESPECIALLY if the email’s sender is not the company sponsoring the service
  • Customers should NEVER click on hyperlinks contained in emails sent from unknown sources

If customers ever fall victim to phishing, they should:

  • Contact their financial institution(s) immediately to alert them that their accounts could be in jeopardy
  • Contact their family and friends to alert them that their email account or social networking profile has been hacked, and not to respond to emails from that account or profile
  • Contact your web browser and/or email provider to alert them of the scam
  • If customer’s have had their personal finances and/or identities stolen, they should contact local law enforcement to alert them of the scam as well

Helpful Information