Privacy and Security
How to Avoid Email Fraud - Consumer Advice from the Anti-Phishing Working Group
The number and sophistication of phishing scams sent out to consumers is continuing to increase dramatically. While online banking and e-commerce is very safe, as a general rule you should be careful about giving out your personal financial information over the Internet. The Anti-Phishing Working Group has compiled a list of recommendations below that you can use to avoid becoming a victim of these scams.
- Be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for personal
- phishers typically include upsetting or exciting (but false) statements in their emails to get people to react immediately
- they typically ask for information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc.
- phisher emails are typically NOT personalized, while valid messages from your bank or e-commerce company generally are
- Don't use the links in an email to get to any web page, if you
suspect the message might not be authentic
- instead, call the company on the telephone, or log onto the website directly by typing in the Web address in your browser
- Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask for personal
- you should only communicate information such as credit card numbers or account information via a secure website or the telephone
- Always ensure that you're using a secure website when submitting credit
card or other sensitive information via your Web browser
- to make sure you're on a secure Web server, check the beginning of the Web address in your browsers address bar - it should be "https://" rather than just "http://"
- Regularly log into your online accounts
- don't leave it for as long as a month before you check each account
- Regularly check your bank, credit and debit card statements to ensure that
all transactions are legitimate
- if anything is suspicious, contact your bank and all card issuers
- Ensure that your browser is up to date and security patches applied
- in particular, people who use the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser should immediately go to the Microsoft Security home page -- http://www.microsoft.com/security/ -- to download a special patch relating to certain phishing schemes
- Always report "phishing" or “spoofed” e-mails to the following groups:
For more information on phishing scams, please visit the Anti-Phishing Working Group.