Avoid Internet Scams

Avoiding Internet Scams

Phishing

No matter how good your spam filters and anti-virus programs are, I’m sure every now and then an email slips into your inbox which turns out to be nothing more than an internet criminal trying to get access to your personal and financial information. These mass generated emails are called “phishing expeditions” because just like when you go fishing with a rod and reel, these criminals are hoping to fool people on the other end to take the bait.

Many times these emails look as if they have been sent from a trustworthy company such as PayPal, Best Buy, Facebook, Yahoo and many of the nation’s largest financial institutions like Bank of America and Wells Fargo. And if you open the email you’ll be directed to a fake website that looks almost identical to the legitimate one. Ways you can tell these sites are fake are by misplaced graphics, misspelled words and incorrect grammar. Also, legitimate businesses NEVER ask for sensitive personal information sent through a random email. That “NEVER” includes us here at the ILWU Credit Union.

It’s important to never click on any links contained in the emails. By doing so, it’s possible to infect your computer with viruses or malware that could potentially be harmful.

If, at any time, you receive a suspicious email, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requests you forward them to spam@uce.gov and also to the company or organization impersonated in the email. Or, if you have already been phished, it’s important to file a report with the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Photo: How Stuff Works

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About the Author

Guillermo Jimenez I've been with the credit union for 7 years. I began as the Accounting Manager. Currently, I'm the Director of Marketing and Social Media.