What is “phishing”?
The FDIC, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, defines phishing as a scam in which criminals fraudulently obtain and use an individual’s personal or financial information.
Here’s how phishing works:
You receive an email which appears to come from a reputable entity like your bank or a government agency – in other words, an organization you would be expected to trust.
The message describes an urgent reason you must “verify” or “re-submit” personal of confidential information by clicking on a link provided in the message.
The link appears to be the website of the trusted organization, but it actually belongs to the fraudster, the criminal who is trying to gain access to your personal information or accounts.
Once you access the fraudulent website by using the link, you maybe asked to provide key personal information like social security numbers, account numbers, passwords or other information that can be used to identify you.
If you provide the information, these personal information keys can be used to unlock and access your accounts at banks and other financial institutions. The information can also be used to steal your identity.
How do you protect yourself from phishing schemes?
Your trusted financial advisors, like Colorado National Bank, and government entities like the FDIC will never ask for personal or confidential information in this manner.
If you suspect an email or website is fraudulent, please report the information to the real company or government agency the request purportedly came from. Use the telephone number you have on record or that is in the telephone book to make the call; do not use a number found in the phishing email. It is also a fraudulent number.
For more information about phishing you can use this website of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It will also provide you with more information about identity theft and what you can do to protect yourself.