30 Jun E-threats to Your Identity – Phishing
Phishing is a criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information including passwords, credit card numbers, and the like. It typically occurs when you receive an email that appears to be from your bank or an online service (think PayPal or eBay) instructing you to click on a link to provide information to verify your account. The link takes you to what may appear to be a legitimate website but upon close inspection, you will notice that it is a spoofed website.
A common trick of spoofed websites is to use the legitimate website name but mispelled. (Example: www.eebay.com) If you are lured into a phishing scam, you may provide account ID’s, passwords, credit information, et cetera before you realize that it is a scam.
If you are a victim of phishing, you should contact the legitimate company named in the fraudulent email. You may also want to notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center and forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you suspect your identity may be compromised, place a fraud alert with the three credit bureaus. When you place an alert, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report. After that, take advantage of the free annual reports the bureaus are required to give all consumers. Stagger your requests so that you get a report every four months.
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