phishing mainPhishing is a method used by id thieves to illegally acquire your personal information by pretending to be a website, company or organization that you know & trust.  Phishing is almost exclusively conducted through emails and websites.  The criminals will in many cases send you an official looking email from what appears to be your banking institution, credit card company or other organization.  These emails are an attempt to have you submit sensitive information such as passwords, account numbers or pin numbers.

Phishing Threat Level – Extremely High!

The email or online instant message you receive from the scammers will instruct you to visit a phony website that looks almost identical to the original, legitimate site. Their email message usually instructs you to enter personal or sensitive information into a form on the fake website, where they will collect it and use it for fraudulent purposes.

 What is the Financial Ramification of Phishing Theft?

In 2007, an estimated 3.6 million Americans lost clost to 3.2 billion dollars as a result of phishing theft.  U.S. companies lose approximately 2 billion dollars each year when their clients become victims of phishing fraud.

How to Prevent Phishing Scams

As a general rule, your bank and credit card companies will never ask you for your password via an email correspondence.  If you receive an email asking for your passwords, pin numbers, bank account or credit card numbers BE SUSPICIOUS.   Never give out any of this information via email, phone or website unless your 100% certain it’s the official site of the company. Learn more about protecting yourself against phishing scams here

Stolen Information Can Include:

  • Debit card PIN numbers
  • Credit card or bank account numbers
  • Social security numbers

Possible Issues Resulting from Stolen Information:

  • Identity theft
  • Employment-related fraud
  • Loan fraud/payday loan fraud
  • Bank fraud
  • Benefits fraud
  • Tax fraud
  • Other identity fraud

Phishing Stats:

$3.2 billion lost by consumers.
$2 billion per year lost by U.S. businesses.