Phishing involves trying to gain access to personal information such as bank information, credit cards, or personal passwords, via fake websites, emails, or instant messages.They use this information, or sell it on the black market for Identity Theft.

Phishers can use official bank logos on emails, masked email addresses to make it appear legitimate, and will ask you to "verify," or "update," your information. These emails can include malicious software that gains access to your computer and installs viruses, or malware.  

Examples of Phishing Tactics:  

Masking an email to make it look official: They accomplish this by using similar email addresses that look official. Logos and other key identifying graphics may be employed to dress up the email for effect.  

Employee Email: You may receive an email from a friend or co-worker that seems legitimate and has their name in the subject line.  

Url Mask: A link in the Phishing email may re-direct to a site that seems legitimate. However, it is a fake site that captures login information and stores it.

Urgent Messages: Messages sent via email or instant messaging programs of dire actions asking you to respond or certain services will be no longer rendered.  

 Protecting Yourself  

1)If someone sends you a email that requests personal information, please pick up the phone and contact that institution to confirm the legitimacy of the email. 

2)Do not click on anything in a suspicious email.  

3)Use Security software such as Total Defense and apply the anti-phishing tool bar.  

4)Check monthly bank statements to make sure you were not a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft.  

5)Use for a list of current phishing attacks and information.  

How to Report  

1)You can report phishing attacks to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at  

2)If you have become a victim of identity theft, you can go here for information on how to carry out damage control at

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