CYBER FRUAD- Protect Yourself
Two Common Internet Identity Theft Scams
Phishing is an e-mail scam that attempts to trick consumers into revealing personal information through fake Web sites or in a reply e-mail. Typically the e-mails and Web sites use familiar logos and slick graphics to deceive consumers into thinking the sender or Web site owner is a company they know or a government agency. The FBI is calling phishing the hottest and most troubling new scam on the Internet.
How does it work? In the typical phishing scam, you receive an e-mail supposedly from a company or financial institution you may do business with. The e-mail describes a reason you must “verify” or “resubmit” confidential information – such as bank account and credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords and personal identification numbers – using a return e-mail, a form on a linked Web site or a pop- up message with the name and the logo of the company. Perhaps you’re told that your bank account information has then been lost or stolen or that limits may be imposed on your account unless you provide additional details. If you comply, the thieves hiding behind the seemingly legitimate Web site or e-mail can use the information to make unauthorized withdrawals from your bank account, pay for online purchases using your credit card, or even sell your personal information to other thieves.
Spyware is a computer software program that gathers information about a computer user, and in most cases without the user’s knowledge or informed consent. Spyware applications are inadvertently installed when visiting a Web site or clicking a hyperlink.
The software can gather and transmit personal information (e-mail addresses, passwords, credit card numbers, PINs) to another organization or person and use it illegally.
It can also cause problems with computer resources causing PC’s to run slowly or erratically.
How do I protect my PC from Spyware?
To prevent the Spyware installation without your consent, remember not to download any freeware onto the computer.
You may already be using anti-virus software, but to be effective, the software should be updated regularly with the latest virus definition files.
Change your online banking password regularly to protect your personal data.
Always run an anti-virus software program and anti-Spyware software before you download other programs or open e-mails.
If you think that you have installed such software in your PC, you may wish to seek professional IT advice on steps to be taken to uninstall the software from your PC.
How to Report Cyber Fraud
If you feel that your business or information may be compromised through a cyber-attack:
– Contact the bank to determine if the wire can be reversed, inform local law enforcement or the state attorney general
– Report stolen accounts or identities and other cyber-crimes to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at
– Report fraud to the Federal Trade Commission at le-complaint
– Report computer or network vulnerabilities to US-CERT via the hotline: 1-888-282-0870 or