Computer Crime Research Center

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How to avoid phishing?

Date: April 18, 2005
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: CCRC staff

Here are some tips on how to stay out of the phishers' net:

- A legitimate e-mail from the bank or another company where you have an account will generally include your name. Dear customer" is a red flag.

- Don't e-mail personal or financial information. Legitimate firms don't ask for this information by e-mail.

- Don't follow a link in an e-mail to the company's Web site. Open a browser window and type in the company's address instead. If you're suspicious, call customer service.

- Regularly check your statements from bank and credit accounts for fraudulent transactions. Financial institutions will generally reimburse you if you were the victim of fraud.

- Avoid accessing online banking at a public Internet terminal, such as in a library. A thief may have installed software to capture the information of anyone who uses it.

- Check an e-mail's digital signature to ensure that it is authentic. The Anti-Phishing Working Group explains how at www.antiphishing.org/smim-dig-sig. htm

- Forward phishing e-mails to spam@uce.gov. If you believe you've been scammed, file your complaint at www.ftc.gov, then visit the FTC's Identity Theft Web site at www.consumer.gov/idtheft to learn how to minimize your risk of damage from ID theft. Or call the FTC at (877) 382-4357.


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