Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States.
“Phishing” is an identity theft scam that uses fraudulent email to “lure” others into providing confidential information.
How do cyber criminals obtain this confidential information? One of the easiest ways is to trick you into furnishing it with an email scam that appears to come from a trusted source. Here is how the phishing scam typically works:
The criminal sends you an official looking email that appears to be from a known and trusted financial institution.
The email attempts to trick you into providing confidential information.
It may use words such as “security notice” or “urgent notice from billing” or it may lead you to believe your account is about to be closed.
Always be suspicious of email that refer to your financial accounts and prompt you to reply quickly.
Ask yourself, “is this email unexpected and is it asking for confidential information?”
If the answer is “yes”, do no respond to it.
Use a telephone number you know to be correct and call the organization it appears to be from.
And you can learn more on cyber identity theft by calling: (877) 438-4338, (877) IDTHEFT
If your identity has been stolen and you need protection, the Federal Trade Commission offers help on what to do.
Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.