Avoid Online Fraud!
Don’t Be Lured By “Phishers”!
Do not answer e-mail requests from any person
or company to confirm or update information, especially requests
that ask for Social Security numbers, passwords or account
numbers. Legitimate companies don’t contact their customers via
e-mail and ask them to confirm or update information, or
threaten to deactivate your account for failing to do it.
Do not use hyperlinks in e-mails. Use your
browser to connect to the official website. The phisher’s e-mail
links are often hard to distinguish from the real site.
If you have given a phisher your personal
financial information, contact the financial institutions you
have accounts with. Place a fraud alert on your files at the
three credit bureaus. Contact the Federal Trade Commission at
1-877-438-4338 or the FBI’s Internet Fraud Complaint Center at
To avoid getting caught by an online scam, the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers this guidance:
- If you get an e-mail that warns you, with
little or no notice, that an account of yours will be shut
down unless you reconfirm your billing information, do not
reply or click on the link in the e-mail. Instead, contact
the company cited in the e-mail using a telephone number or
by typing in a website address you know to be genuine or
using one from your “favorites” list.
- Avoid e-mailing personal and financial
- Before submitting personal or financial
information through a website, look for the “lock” icon on
the browser’s status bar. It signals that your information
is secure during transmission.
- Review credit card and account statements
as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are
any unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more
than a couple days, call your credit card company or bank to
confirm your billing address and account balances.
- Report suspicious activity to the FTC. If
you believe you’ve been scammed, file your complaint at
www.ftc.gov and then visit the FTC’s Identity Theft website
to learn how to minimize your risk of damage from identity