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"Phishing," pronounced "fishing," is a new type of Internet piracy. That's what the thieves are doing - "fishing" for your personal financial information.

Here's How Phishing Works

You'll receive an e-mail that appears to come from a reputable company that you recognize and do business with, such as a financial institution, retail merchant, credit card company, or a government agency. The e-mail will warn you of a serious problem that requires your immediate attention, or may promise you gift cards or merchandise, and will encourage you to click on a button, which will take you to a phony web site where you will be asked to update your account information, such as your Social Security Number, your account number, your password, your mother's maiden name, or your place of birth, for verification purposes. If you provide the requested information, you may find yourself the victim of identity theft.

Here's How to Protect Yourself from Phishing and Identity Theft

  • Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request
  • If you believe the contact may be legitimate, contact the sender.
  • Never click on the link provided in an unsolicited e-mail.
  • Do not be intimidated by an e-mail or caller who suggests dire consequences if you do not provide or verify financial information.
  • Never provide your password over the phone or in response to an unsolicited Internet request.
  • Review account statements regularly to ensure all charges are correct.
  • Report suspicious e-mails or calls to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.
  • If you become a victim of identity theft, act immediately. Alert your financial institution and contact one of the three major credit bureaus below to discuss placing a fraud alert on your credit files.


Report fraud 

Order credit report

Hearing Impaired





(Ask operator to call auto disclosure line 1-800-685-1111)

Experian (www.experian.com)





TransUnion (www.transunion.com)





Federal Trade Commission 








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