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Fraud Prevention

Phishing for your Money

October 08, 2010

A rapidly growing form of Internet fraud is a practice known as “PHISHING.”  This fraud can lead to financial loss, identity theft and loss of confidence in any institution whose site has been “PHISHED.” 

How does it work?
Online thieves send out e-mails that appear to originate from legitimate companies.  The e-mail messages direct victims to fraudulent look-alike websites, where the victim is asked to enter personal and financial information.  Because the PHISH sites look entirely legitimate and the request appears to be coming from a trusted financial institution or credit card company, victims enter their credit card numbers, Social Insurance Numbers (SINs), bank account information and address, phone number and e-mail details.  Any information entered into the PHISH site is captured by a crook that will steal the victim’s identity to acquire new credit cards, redirect mail and open bank accounts in the victim’s name.
Teach yourself, your friends and family “PHISH” sense:
  • Be suspicious of any e-mail with urgent requests for personal financial information.  A reputable financial institution or credit card company will not request personal or financial information in this manner.  If you receive this type of e-mail or any other like it, simply delete the e-mail.
  • Don’t use web page links in an e-mail if you suspect the message, e-mail or website might not be authentic.
  • Avoid filling out forms in e-mail messages that ask for personal financial information.
  • Always ensure you’re using a secure website when submitting credit card or other sensitive information through your browser.
  • Check your bank, credit and debit card statements to ensure all transactions are legitimate.

This article was adapted from CUETS

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