June 24, 2020
Continuing the topic of fraud and scams from last week’s article, it may help to know some terminology and understanding of how scammers operate to get your personal information. This week’s term is phishing.
Scammer sends a fake email, text or website which appears to be from a legitimate source, like your bank or other company you know and trust. The email asks you to provide your personal or other sensitive information such as passwords or usernames by clicking a link. These fake emails may even threaten to disable your account if the information is not received. The first question to ask yourself is if you have an account with them.
If the personal information is received, the scammers use the information to open new accounts or access current accounts. Legitimate businesses will never ask you for your password or account number by email. Some ways to protect yourself would be not to click on the link, contact the company using contact information from your account statement or bill and use two-factor authentication for online accounts. Two-factor authentication requires an additional piece of information to log into your account. Also, never open unexpected attachments. Keep your security software on your devices up-to-date for added protection.
The look and feel of phishing has evolved to seem very convincing and personalized to you. If anything looks or feels questionable, delete the message or report it. You can report phishing by forwarding it to email@example.com or filing a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint. Phishing texts can be forwarded to SPAM (7726).
Resources: MyCreditUnion.gov, Federal Trade Commission, usa.gov
To learn more, contact Janell at the Chouteau County Extension Office at 622-3036, firstname.lastname@example.org or in the green building next to the Chouteau County Courthouse at 1308 Franklin St in Fort Benton.
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