What is Phishing? 4 Tips to Safeguard Your Personal Information
According to the Security and Exchange Commission, phishing involves the use of fraudulent emails and copy-cat websites to trick you into revealing valuable personal information — such as account numbers for banking, securities, mortgage, or credit accounts, your social security numbers, and the login IDs and passwords you use when accessing online financial services providers.
Often phishing scams involve someone posing to be part of a legitimate institution contacting an individual by email in order to entice them into sharing sensitive information.
It’s estimated that thousands of phishing emails are sent to people all over the world every day. As the frequency of these phishing scams increases, we all need to be aware of how to recognize them. Reducing the number of people who fall for scams starts with consumer education. Mortgage and real estate professionals are in a unique position to share practical information about these scams with their clients.
Take a look at the list below for some tips to share with your clients.
- Don’t respond to emails that ask you to provide financial or personal information. If you think that your financial institution may actually need information from you, call the company using the number you have for them, not the one given in the email.
- Make sure your browser is up to date. Browsers release patches all the time to keep up with security issues that hackers have exploited. When an update to the browser that you use is released, be sure to install in right away.
- Review your account statements. Whether you get them online or in the mail, take the time to look them over to make sure the charges are legitimate. If you see a charge that you’re not familiar with, contact the financial institution right away.
- Phishing is a crime. If you suspect that someone is trying to scam you, report your concerns to the United States Computer Readiness Team. There is a section on the website where you can give detailed information about your situation.
- We hope that you found this information helpful. Our team at Equity National is focused on creating a positive experience for you and your customers. Let us know how we can help you.
By: Equity National April 28, 2015 Uncategorized