What Is Phishing?

What Is Phishing?
phishing (FISH.ing) pp. Creating a replica of an existing Web page to fool a user into submitting personal, financial, or password data. —adj. —phish v. —phisher n.

Man with Fishing pole and Computer

Don't Take the Bait!
If you receive an unexpected email saying your account information must be verified or it may be compromised—that is the “bait.”

Don’t take it! STAR will never contact you in this manner, nor would any other legitimate financial institution. Below are suggestions to help you avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam:

  • If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply. And do not click on the link in the message, either. Legitimate companies do not ask for this information via email. If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization mentioned in the email using a telephone number you know to be genuine, or open a new Internet browser session and type in the company’s correct Web address yourself. In any case, do not cut and paste the link from the message into your Internet browser. Phishers can make links that look like they go to one site, but actually send you to a different site.
  • Use anti-virus software and a firewall, and keep them up to date. Some phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge.
  • Do not email personal or financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information. If you initiate a transaction and want to provide your personal or financial information through an organization’s website, look for indicators that the site is secure, like a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or a website URL that begins with “https:” (the “s” stands for “secure”). Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some phishers have forged security icons.
  • Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call the credit union, bank or credit card company to confirm your billing address and account balances.
  • Forward spam that is phishing for information to *spam@uce.gov and to the company, bank, or organization being impersonated in the phishing email. Most organizations have information on their websites about where to report problems.

You can learn about other ways to avoid email scams and deal with deceptive spam at *ftc.gov/spam and *http://www.antiphishing.org/consumerrecs.html

*Links to Third-Party web sites are provided for member convenience only. STAR Community Credit Union does not endorse nor support the content of third party links. The Credit Union is not responsible for the content of a third-party web site. By clicking on a third party link, you will leave the Credit Union web site. Privacy and security policies may differ from those practiced by the Credit Union. STAR Community Credit Union does not represent either the third party or the member if the two enter into a transaction.

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