Clever crooks are disguising spam emails to look like they are from a business or organization that you do business with, such as your bank, credit card company, a club you belong to, your co-op or even a government agency. The emails may ask you to update your account or confirm other personal information. They also provide a link that looks just like the website of the “organization” contacting you.
These “phishing” scams are being used to obtain usernames and passwords to email accounts, which allow scammers access to all of the personal information contained within your own emails and any emails sent to you by others. Phishing scams can lead to identity theft. Here are some ways to avoid these scams:
• Don’t provide personal or financial information, usernames, passwords or any other personal information in response to an email. Legitimate companies don’t usually seek information this way. WFEC will never send an email asking you for your account number, username, password or for payments or payment information.
• If you question whether or not an email is actually from a legitimate business you know and do business with, contact the business using a phone or web address other than the one provided in the email and ask if the business sent it.
• Review account and credit card statements promptly to check for unauthorized charges. Use the number or web address on the statement to contact the statement sender if you see any such charges.
In addition to phishing emails, watch out for emails with sales pitches or promises that sound too good to be true. Before buying or acting on an online offer, get all of your questions answered and read all of the fine print.