PHISHING AND SPOOFING
There are two types of identity theft that are prevalent online and with the growing popularity of the Internet have become the number means of thieves to steal your identity and/or rip you off. Fake emails are sent to consumers in an attempt to trick them into providing personal information. This is called phishing or spoofing.
Over the past few years, the FBI's Internet Fraud
Complaint Center (IFCC) has seen a significant rise in the amount of
complaints that include some type of unsolicited e-mail channeling
recipients to a fake 'Customer Service' site. This scam is the
number one cause for the increase of online identity theft and credit
The sender, subject and body of the email will appear very real and convincing. There will usually be a link for you to click on that will take you to the fraudulent website. Mouse over the link before you click on it. You will see in the bottom of your screen what the actual url is. So, if the email says it is from American Express, but the link says anything other than http://www.americanexpress.com then the email is a fake. This type of link manipulation is called 'link alteration'.
How you can protect yourself?
- In the event that you need to update your
account info online, utilize the same procedure you have you used in
the past. A good idea would also be to open a fresh browser and type
in the url of the website you want to go to and navigate to the page
where you can adjust your information.
- Sites that spoof or phish will usually have strange, long urls with lots of letters and numbers that make no sense.
- Never input any sensitive info at a website that
is not secure. Always look for the website address to start with
'https". The 's' means 'secure'.