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Protect Yourself from Phishing Attacks


As part of our ongoing efforts to help keep your personal information safe, we want to remind you to stay on the lookout for the many e-mail scams making the rounds in cyberspace today.

It's common to see fraudulent e-mails claiming to come from leading companies and organizations, including UPS, Wells Fargo, PayPal, Chase Bank, Verizon Wireless, Amazon, FedEx, and more. In all of these fraud attempts, the messages request recipients to provide some type of personal information.

If you receive an e-mail that you believe to be a scam:

  • First, delete the e-mail immediately and don't click on any link or open any attachment—it could install malicious software (malware) that could potentially access all username and password information stored on your computer.
  • In addition, keep in mind that no legitimate organization requests personal data or information via e-mail. If a message requests this type of information from you, consider it a major red flag.

How to protect yourself
Keep the following tips in mind to protect yourself from cyber criminals:

  1. As noted above, don't click on any links or attachments within suspicious e-mails or text messages. Sign in directly to the company's website to check messages and perform other actions.
  2. Be wary of links from people you don't know or of messages that don't read the way a friend would normally write.
  3. If you accidentally access a dangerous attachment and believe a password-stealer is running on your computer, run a virus or spyware scan or contact a technology specialist as soon as possible.
  4. All unsolicited e-mails concerning password or account changes—especially those that contain attachments—should be considered scams until verified. Log in to the account in question to check the situation.
  5. Do not respond to text messages or automated voice messages from unknown or blocked numbers on your mobile phone.
  6. Use a credit card when purchasing online. Charges can be disputed if you don't receive what you order or if you discover unauthorized charges on your card.
  7. Check the seller's ratings and feedback, as well as the dates they were posted. Be wary of a seller with a 100-percent positive feedback score, a low number of feedback postings, or with all feedback posted around the same time.
  8. Never respond to suspicious unsolicited e-mails, texts, phone calls, or voicemails that request personal information. If you are unsure of the validity of the message or call, go to the company's website directly.
Cyber criminals are always looking for new ways to compromise your personal information. Following the steps outlined above and remaining alert for possible threats are the best ways to protect yourself.



2017 Commonwealth Financial Network