How to Identify Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are designed to access your account information and take advantage of you. These scams are very common and many people are taken advantage of by them every year. Here are the basics of how to identify phishing scams and stay away from them.

What Is a Phishing Scam?

A phishing scam is an Internet scam that is used in order to try to obtain your login information for a financial institution. Most of the time, a scam artist is going to set up a webpage or an e-mail that looks exactly like what you would receive from a legitimate company. They copy the logo and everything down to the last detail. Many people cannot tell the difference between a phishing scam and a legitimate website because of the care that goes into this type of scheme.

You my receive any mail that says something about you need to verify your password or login information. You might also be presented with a login form that looks exactly like what you are used to from a legitimate website. Then when you fill out your login and password, the information is sent to a database that is owned by the scam artist. The scam artist can then use your information to gain access to your financial accounts.

Be Careful With Links

When you are about to go to a website, you should consider typing the address into your browser instead of clicking on a link. When you click on a link, it can take you anywhere that the maker of the website wants it to take you. When you type in a web address, you know exactly where you are going. Many times, when you click on a link in an e-mail, it takes you to a fraudulent website that looks exactly like the real thing. You will mistakenly believe that you are on the website and give them important information about yourself.

Unsolicited E-Mail

Anytime that you receive an unsolicited e-mail, you need to be careful about giving them any personal information. Even if they say that they are with a company that you are familiar with, you need to make sure that the e-mail is legitimate. In order to do this, you should send your own e-mail to someone within the company. Do not reply to the e-mail that was sent to you. Instead, you need to initiate your own e-mail to contact information that you already have. Ask them if the correspondence that you received was legitimate or if it was from a phishing scam.


When you are looking at an e-mail that you have received, you want to look over it carefully. Try to determine if there are any errors that you can notice. Many times, scam artists do not spend a lot of time proofreading the e-mail. If you notice a lot of typos or errors in grammar, you should be very skeptical about responding to the e-mail.

What to Do

If you believe that you have fallen victim to a phishing scam, you need to contact the company that has your account immediately. They will verify your identity and then you can have them change your login information back so that you are in control.

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