Email Internet/Fraud Alert
Important reminder regarding email and Internet fraud known as "Phishing"
**Be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for personal information**

Phishing is an Internet scam whereby a message is sent out via email instructing recipients to immediately provide their personal account information.

Typically these are urgent requests designed to look like they came from a bank, an email service or other service provider demanding that you "confirm" or "update" account information or passwords or risk having an account closed down.

Others request you "confirm" personal financial information to assist in a fraud investigation involving a credit card or bank account.

These emails are designed to look like an official communication from a respectable source like an email service team, help desk or bank /credit card company. They generally instruct you to click on a link in the email leading you to a website where you are asked for information like account numbers, contact information, passwords, social security numbers or back/credit card "pin" numbers.

The link(s) in the phishing email do not go to your account/bank. It actually goes to a computer controlled by fraudsters. Once armed with this data, thieves can access your accounts to control your email, take out cash advances from your accounts or may attempt to steal your identity and setup fraudulent bank or credit card accounts in your name.

Tips for spotting "Phishing Emails"

  1. Be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for personal financial information. Banks and credit card companies will not email you requesting this information.
  2. Never respond directly to unsolicited emails requesting your personal information. If you think it may be a legitimate request, contact your financial institution using the contact information on your billing statement.
  3. Do not forward the email and delete from your mailbox.
  4. Do not click on . zip or .exe attachments in emails if you are not expecting the attachement. Contact the sender via phone or seperate email to confirm what the attachment contains.
  5. Please do not click on links in emails as the link may be an attempt to distribut viruses or malware. If you need to go to a web site, look up the official web site address and type it directly into the web address bar or call the institution directly.

More information is available from the following links:
Federal Trade Commission: How Not to Get Hooked by a 'Phishing' Scam 
OnGuard online: Phishing - Quick Facts 

If you believe you have responded to a phishing email, please contact the Help Desk at 414-229-4040 or