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The newest kind of Internet fraud is a form of online identity theft known as phishing. Phishing scams can be difficult to differentiate from a legitimate communication. The following paragraphs briefly describe how a phishing scam might be carried out and what you can do to protect yourself.
The scam begins when you receive an e-mail that appears to be from a legitimate source, with a seemingly justifiable request - possibly to verify your personal information or account details. You may be asked to respond directly to this e-mail. More likely, the e-mail will ask you to click on a link included in the body of the message. There may also be a consequence stated in the e-mail for not complying with the request, such as "your account will be closed or suspended".
When you click on the link, you will be taken to a Web page asking you to enter or update personal information such as passwords, social security numbers, or bank account numbers. This page may look authentic, with the same logos, fonts, and colors of the company's actual site. It may even include links to the legitimate site to further your confusion. This Web page, however, is bogus and set up to steal your information.
If you receive an e-mail message that appears to be from Sioux Valley Community Credit Union, but suspect that it is not a legitimate communication, we recommend you take the following steps:
- DO NOT respond to the e-mail under any circumstances.
- Follow the instructions for the following agencies, at the links below:
- United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team Report Phishing Sites
- Anti-Phishing Working Group Unifying the Global Response to Cybercrime
- Delete the e-mail upon forwarding to the above agency(s).
For additional information about phishing scams and how to protect your personal information, you may visit the Web sites listed below.
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Alert on How Not to Get Hooked by a Phishing Scam
How Phishing Works
FTC articles on spam, phishing, spy ware, etc: