Don’t Take the Bait - Protect Yourself from Phishing Scams
Phishing is a type of online scam designed to get valuable personal data from you – like your Social Security number, credit card numbers, passwords, account data and other personal identifying information.
Every day, scammers send out millions of fraudulent emails that claim to come from Web sites you likely trust, like a bank or credit card company, and then request your personal information. They then steal your personal information, leaving you the victim of a phishing scam.
Watch out for these phrases that help identify fraudulent emails:
- “Verify your account.” - Any legitimate business will not ask you to send passwords, login names, Social Security numbers or any other personal information via email.
- “If you don’t respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed.” - They are attempting to create a sense of urgency, so you feel like you don’t have time to verify their information through the proper channels.
- “Dear Valued Customer.” - Phishing messages are generally sent out as mass emails and aren’t personalized
- “Click the link below to gain access to your account.” - The Web site address looks real, but if you hold your cursor over it, you’ll see a new Web site address pop up that looks nothing like the original. This is the “real” Web site you are going to.
The FTC recommends the following tips:
- Do not hit “reply”
Contact the company or agency cited in the email directly by telephone or visit their Web site.
- Be cautious about e-mailing your personal information
A padlock icon at the bottom of the browser window or “https” in the Web site address means your information should be secure.
- Review statements ASAP
Review your credit card and account statements for invalid charges. If the statement is noticeably late, call your credit card company or National Iron Bank to confirm billing address and account balances.
- Report “phishy” emails to the FTC
Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you believe you are a victim of an email scam, file a complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov/idtheft and click on the “File a Complaint” button at the top.
If you ever suspect any type of suspicious activity, report it to the proper authorities immediately. Contact the actual bank, credit union, company or government agency to confirm whether the email or Web site is legitimate.
As a reminder, National Iron Bank will NEVER send you an email asking for your personal information. If you get one that claims to be from us, report it immediately!