Don’t take the bait for online phishing

Don't be an identity theft victim. Avoid online phishing

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Written by: Brian McMaster

If you are anything like me, you enjoy a good day of fishing; a nice day out on the water taking in the Florida sun and bringing in a big catch. Sadly in the world of information protection, there are some scam artists who are beginning to give one of my favorite past times a bad name. If this hasn't happened to you yet,  it may soon, and believe me, you don't want to fall for this bait. 

How can it happen? Well, unfortunately it can happen easier than you think. 

altYou get an email that looks like it’s from a bank, credit card company, PayPal or other financial service.  The email looks legit, it has the company's graphics, a related email address, and active log in buttons.  It says your account or credit card has been deactivated and they need you to login to “verify” your personal information. This is a common scam called phishing, and you are the fish!

Think before you click!

The link will take you to a rogue website that may look like a real login page, but is designed to hand over your account number and personal information to thieves.  One of the newest forms of phishing has begun happening recently in many cities across the country. In this version the scam is worked over the phone.  The thieves will call you up and ask you a question about your doctor or the medicine you are taking. They will ask you to verify your doctor's name, your address, social security number, and/or date of birth. 

You shouldn't answer these questions.

This information is already on record by your doctor and your insurance company. If they were to call you they altwouldn't want all the information,  maybe just the last four digits of your social security number.   If you are having doubt,  ask for the phone number where you can call them back.  If they are legitimate,  they won't mind and you can call them back to verify if they are who they say they are. At that time you can decide to give them your personal information.

When it comes to fishing, you want to be the one who brings in the prize catch! Protect your personal information.  Don't take the bait when it comes to phishing scams!

altPay attention to news articles about fraud and identity theft. If you’ve got a question about something, research it online.

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