Stopping fraud in its tracks
Fake emails and texts are the most effective ways identity thieves use to con people into providing confidential, personal information. These messages are very sophisticated, look legitimate, and difficult to identify as fake. But you can protect yourself.
A scammer’s toolbox
“Phishing” is when a scammer uses a phony message (traditional mail, email, text, or phone call) to trick you into providing personal information.
“Spoofing” is when a fraudulent email or text includes a link to a fake website that can also trick you into providing personal information.
“Pharming” is when a malicious virus is embedded into your computer or mobile device as the result of clicking a link to a fake website.
Top tips for spotting frauds and scams
- Never open an email or text from an unrecognizable sender.
- Pay close attention to misspellings in the sender’s address, the subject line, or your name. There could also be a slight variation in a logo (color could be off or there’s an extra character or space).
- Hover over or click on the email sender’s name. This will provide the full sender address and you’ll be able to see if this is legit. This is especially helpful with emails that look to be coming from a real customer service department but aren’t.
- Don’t click on any unrecognizable links.
- Many scammers will try to intimidate you by saying they are from a federal agency, like the IRS, and that you are at risk of being arrested if you don’t contact them. Agencies like this will never do that.