Phising: You’re the One on the Hook

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We've all played the game "go fish" in hopes of obtaining the correct card to make a match and eventually win the simple card game. Phishing is the same concept, except you are the fish on the end of the line and the person phishing is going for more than a simple matched card. Phishing is a popular cycbercrime when you are targeted through and e-mail, phone call, text message, or other form of cyber communication. These people are trying to get you to reveal personal and sensitive information such as your social security number, credit card numbers and banking information.

"I can't be fooled"

It sounds simple, and like something only uneducated people would fall for, but it is one of the most complicated and enticing scams out there. The people who craft these scams are smart, and think of every tiny detail and way to entice you to believe the call is not a scam, and in fact your lucky day! Often, callers are trying to mimic a reputable company, and over the phone it's hard to verify. Here are a couple red flags to note:

Red Flags

1. Too Good to Be True The offer comes in through your e-mail about an all-inclusive stay in a beach resort because you recently shopped at Walmart. It sounds enticing, not only because it is a free vacation, but also because 9/10 people have shopped at Walmart in the last week or two. As the old adage says, "If it is too good to be true, it probably is."

2. Sense of Urgency When the call comes for you to claim your trip, and yet you must "act now", something is fishy. Once again, this is a smart tactic many scammers use to get you to act fast without putting much forethought into your actions. If there is time to think, they are more than likely to get caught.

3. Asking for Personal Information If a company calls and offers a product or an opportunity to lower your interest rate on your credit card, house payment, or car loan and then proceed to insist this must be done over the phone-- odds are this is a scam. The people on the other end of the line can be quite persistent and convincing. A smart rule of thumb is to never give out personal information over the phone unless paying a bill directly to a company or hospital and to a real person, not an animated robot on the other end.

What to do if You are a Victim of Phising

• notify banks • change passwords • watch bank accounts closely • report the company and phone number

By being aware of what phishing is, watching for red flags, and being smart with personal information you can avoid being caught in the middle of a phishing scam.

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