Protect Yourself Against Phishing
Today's scammers go "phishing" for account numbers, social security numbers and other financial information that they can use to loot your checking account or run up bills on our credit card.
The Federal Trade Commission suggests these tips to help consumers avoid being hooked by a phishing scam:
- Don't respond to e-mail or pop-up messages that ask for personal or financial information. Legitimate companies never solicit for information via e-mail.
- Never give out personal or financial information on e-mail or on the telephone unless you have initiated the contact.
- The URL for a secure website begins with "https." The "s" stands for "secure." But this is not a foolproof indicator since skilled phishers have been known to forge indicator security icons.
- Treat your trash carefully. Shred unneeded receipts and financial records, or tear them up and throw them away instead of recycling them.
- Do not have your social security number printed on your documents, including your checks. Protect your social security card by not carrying it with you unless you know you will need to show it.
- Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date. For added protection, a firewall is also a good idea.
- Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from e-mail.
- Photocopy the contents of your wallet, front and back. You will then have a record of what should be in your wallet - and you'll know who to call in case of theft.