Online Phishing and Scams

Spoof Email - Phishing

Phishing emails are an attempt by thieves to lure you into divulging personal and financial information, for their profit. They pretend to be from well-known legitimate businesses, and increasingly look as if they actually are. They use clever techniques to induce a sense of urgency on your part so that you don't stop to think about whether they are legitimate or not. You can learn to know what to look for and where to report these scams when you find them.

Spear phishing emails are a special type of phishing email targeted to a select group of users. These emails tend to be more specific than a regular phishing email, including information more detailed and familiar to the recipient. As with standard phishing emails, these messages often include a request for personal information and a notification of account suspension or closure for failing to reply.

If you suspect that you have received a phishing email, do not respond to it or click on the links.


Six Ways to Recognize a Phishing Message

  • Generic Greeting: For example, "Dear customer" instead of using your name. 
  • Sense of Urgency: May include an urgent warning requiring your immediate action. 
  • Account Status Threat: May include a warning that your account will be shut down unless you reply. 
  • Forged email address: The sender's email address may be forged, even if it looks legitimate. 
  • Forged links to Web sites: There is often a link to a web site to "fix" your account. These are often forged. 
  • Requests for personal information: Asking for login and password information, either in the email or from the link. 

Remember, NEVER send an email message requesting personal information. Reputable organizations will never ask you to send your login or private information to them via email. You should always be wary of unexpected messages requesting personal information. If you are unsure whether an email message about your account is a phishing email or not, call the organization directly to determine the status of your account.