Phishing is a type of on line scam that targets consumers by sending them an e-mail that appears to be from a well-known, reputable company.
They fraudulent email will ask you to reply or click the link to a phony website where you are directed to provide your account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords and other sensitive information.
If scammers get this information, they could gain access to your email and financial accounts to steal your money.
Don't Take the Bait!
When in doubt, delete! Here are some ways to keep from getting lured
- How to recognize phishing
- How to protect yourself from phishing attacks
- How to report phishing
How to Recognize Phishing
Here are some signs that will help you recognize a phishing email or text message.
Phishing emails and text messages may look like they're from a company you know or trust. They may look like they're from a bank, a credit card company, a social networking site, an online payment website or app, or an online store.
Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. They may
- say they've noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts
- claim there's a problem with your account or your payment information
- say you must confirm some personal information
- include a fake invoice
- want you to click on a link to make a payment
- say you're eligible to register for a government refund
- offer a coupon for free stuff
How to protect yourself from phishing attacks
- Treat unsolicited e-mail requests for financial information or other personal data with suspicion. If the e-mail isn't responding to any action you took, it's unsolicited! Do not reply to any unsolicited e-mail or respond by clicking on a link within any unsolicited e-mail message.
- Protect your mobile phone by setting software to update automatically. These updates could give you critical protection against security threats.
- Protect your data by backing it up. Back up your data and make sure those backups aren't connected to your home network. You can copy your computer files to an external hard drive or cloud storage. Back up the data on your phone, too.
- Enter your personal information only on secure Web sites that you know to be genuine. Mastercard or your card issuer would never ask you to send Social Security numbers, account numbers, passwords, or PINs within an e-mail message. When entering personal data on a Web site, look for a "locked padlock" on the browser or "https" at the beginning of the Web site address to make sure the site is secure.
- Contact the business that supposedly sent the e-mail directly. Visit their secure Web site or call a phone number that you know is legitimate and verify with the business whether the e-mail you received is genuine.
- Update anti-virus software and security patches to system software regularly. Phishing e-mails can contain viruses that may harm your computer if opened.
- Be cautious. Check your monthly statements to verify all transactions. Notify your financial institution ASAP of any suspicious or erroneous transactions.
- Forward any suspicious e-mails to the Federal Trade Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org or file a complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov. You can also forward any unsolicited e-mails claiming to be from Mastercard or your card issuer to email@example.com.
How to Report Phishing
- If you think a scammer has your Kinecta FCU account information, notify us immediately by calling the Member Contact Center at 800.854.9846
- Report phishing to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint
- If your identity has been stolen, go to the Federal Trade Commission's website https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen