Be watchful for identity theft, fraud, phishing



October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month – learn more from

Identity Theft

Identity theft is the illegal use of someone else’s personal information in order to obtain money or credit. Identity theft can happen to anyone in any location across the country. Take simple steps to protect your online identity by:

  • Locking and password protecting your computer and cell phone.

  • Not sharing specific personal information online, such as your full name or birthday.

  • Setting proper privacy settings on social networking sites.

Fraud and Phishing

Fraud is the intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right.

Phishing occurs when criminals use a seemingly legitimate email to trick users into providing their sensitive personal information such as social security numbers, passwords, or credit card numbers. When users respond with the information, attackers use it to access their accounts. Cyber criminals may also attempt to lure users to click on a link, call a phone number, or open an attachment that infects their computer with viruses or malware, creating vulnerability to attacks. Once the malware is installed, phishers can access your information to hack into your private accounts. Secure yourself from fraud and phishing attacks by:

  • Turning off the option to automatically download attachments.

  • Saving and scanning any attachments before opening them.

  • Before providing any kind of information, call and verify with the source that they are indeed the ones who sent the email.

Examples of what verbiage a phishing email or pop-up window may include so you can be better prepared to identify these scam emails:

  • “We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity.”

  • “During our regular verification of accounts, we couldn’t verify your information. Please click here to update and verify your information.”

  • “Our records indicate that your account was overcharged. You must send us your account information within 7 days to receive your refund.”

  • “Your computer is infected – call the following number now, do not turn off your computer or you will lose all data”

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