"Phishing" is a common Internet scam. Internet criminals pose as legitimate businesses or institutions and send out e-mails phishing for your personal information.
You have probably seen a phishing scam or two in your inbox. Common phishing scams include:
- An e-mail that appears to be from a financial institution asking you to "verify your account" or "update your information."
- An e-mail from a "foreign diplomat," asking for help moving currency to the U.S.
Simply put, these are con games, designed to steal your money, get your login credentials, or get other sensitive information.
Phishing e-mails are designed to look like a legitimate business or institution e-mail, and it can be very difficult to tell the scams from legitimate e-mails.
So, how do you protect yourself from the scams but still conduct legitimate business?
- DON'T: directly respond to e-mails requesting your personal information.
- DON'T: click on any links in the e-mail or copy-and-paste any links from the e-mail into your internet browser. These links may lead to fraudulent sites.
- DO: locate the official web site of the company by searching for the correct link with a trusted search engine such as Google or typing the site's address directly into your browser.
For example, if you receive an e-mail claiming to be from SLU and asking you to change your password, don't click on the link in the e-mail itself. Instead, open your internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.), and carefully type password.slu.edu into the address bar. Then, log in normally and change your password. That way, you know you're getting to the real SLU site, and not a lookalike site set up by a scammer.