How to avoid Phishing Scams

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"Educate your customers and protect your business"

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"Consumer Advice: How to Avoid Phishing Scams"

The increasing sophistication of Phishing scams continues to test even the most knowledgeable Internet savvy people. While online banking and e-commerce is very safe, as a general rule you should be careful about giving out your personal financial information over the Internet. Here is a list of recommendations that you can use to avoid becoming a victim of these scams and a selection of free tools to help.

Be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for personal financial information


Don't use the links in an email to get to any web page, if you suspect the message might not be authentic

instead, call the company on the telephone, or log onto the website directly by typing in the Web address into your browser

Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask for personal financial information

you should only communicate information such as credit card numbers or account information via a secure website or the telephone

Always ensure that you're using a secure website when submitting credit card or other sensitive information via your Web browser

to make sure you're on a secure Web server, check the beginning of the Web address in your browsers address bar - it should be "https://" rather than just "http://" Consider using Vengine for Internet Explorer. It allows you to validate the secure session and to know the entity is behind the website.

Consider installing a Web browser tool bar to help protect you from known Phishing fraud websites

Trusttoolbar is a free toolbar which not only highlights potential Phishing sites, it also provides real time identity assurance of the entity who owns the web site.

Regularly log into your online accounts

don't leave it for as long as a month before you check each account

Regularly check your bank, credit and debit card statements to ensure that all transactions are legitimate

if anything is suspicious, contact your bank and all card issuers

Ensure that your browser is up to date and security patches applied

in particular, people who use the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser should immediately go to the Microsoft Security home page -- http://www.microsoft.com/security/ -- to download a special patch relating to certain Phishing schemes

Always report "Phishing" or “spoofed” e-mails to the following groups:

  • forward the email to AntiPhishing@comodo.com
  • forward the email to the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov
  • forward the email to the "abuse" email address at the company that is being spoofed (e.g. "spoof@ebay.com")
  • when forwarding spoofed messages, always include the entire original email with its original header information intact
  • notify the Internet Fraud Complaint Center of the FBI by filing a complaint on their website: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx