Your personal information can be at risk by phishing scams on the web. Phishing is a scam method to rob you of your personal information and use it against you. Passwords, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers are just some of your personal data that can be stolen from you if you are not aware and protected against phishing. Phishing scams can come in many forms, as in emails that ask you to visit a certain site to update your information that you supposedly entered some time ago and needs to be updated. Links are placed in the email sent to you for you to click and follow to enter your information. At first glance the email may look genuine because it may use headings or templates of companies or accounts you have memberships to, like your bank for example. You will then give away your access information to these people who will use it to get into your account. You must learn how to spot a phishing scam and to protect yourself.
- Make sure the website or email you are looking at is authentic. Phishing scams can make it look like your bank's site or use email headings from legitimate companies. They may use the exact graphics and format that you can be easily fooled into thinking you are looking at the real thing. Check the URL if it is the correct address corresponding to the legitimate website.
- Do not immediately click on links without verification. Links can be placed on the email for you to click redirecting you to a website that wants you to enter your information in the provided fields. Phishing scams can come in forms of urgent emails, where you will be made to update your information on a supposed trusted company's site. It could contain a message to verify your account or a new security procedure.
- Get verification from the company directly by calling them. Try to get a hold of the company's number offline. If it is from your bank, find your old statements or look in the yellow pages for your bank's phone number and inquire about the email you just received that is supposedly from them.
Your personal information or access data may be stolen through phishing scams. Always try to verify directly through the phone or if they have branches or divisions in your area drop in and ask them about the email you received.
Go to anti-phishing websites and keep yourself updated about the latest methods they may use to steal information.
Arm yourself with an anti-phishing program.
Report fraudulent sites to the SEC: