Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to infect your machine with malware and viruses in order to collect personal and financial information. Cybercriminals attempt to lure users to click on a link or open an attachment that infects their computer with viruses or malware, creating vulnerability to attacks. Phishing emails may appear to come from a real financial institution, e-commerce site, government agency, or any other service, business, or individual. The email may also request personal information like account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers. When users respond with the information or click on a link, attackers use it to access their accounts.
How to Avoid the “Hook”
Check it Out
- Look up the website or phone number for the company or person who’s contacting you
- Call the number or person directly. Use a number you know to be correct, not the number I the email or text
- Tell them the message you received
Look for Scam Tip -Offs
- You don’t have an account with the company or your do not know the person.
- The message is missing you name or uses bad grammar and spelling.
- The person asks for personal information, including passwords.
How to Report Phishing
If you got a phishing email or text message, please report it:
- Forward phishing email to the FTC at firstname.lastname@example.org and to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at email@example.com.
- If you received a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726).
- Report the phishing attack to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
To report suspicious IRS related emails or phone calls, please visit https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/report-phishing
The information you give can help fight the scammers.