This is that time of year when we all start getting those emails that want to scam us into revealing our secret codes and passwords.
You know the ones that have subject lines like: “Your Account Is About To Be Closed,” “There’s A Block On Your Account,” “Could You Help Me Claim My Funds,” or my all-time favorite “Congratulations – You’ve Won The Giveaway.”
Most of us have spent more than usual recently, and the last thing we need is for our bank or credit cards account to be hindered. That is exactly what these “phisher” are counting on, and unfortunately some of us are tempted to follow the instructions sent to investigate.
First and foremost, DON’T FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE EMAIL! If you think there might be a problem, access the account in question as you normally do on your PC and not with the link supplied in the phony email.
There are some very authentic looking email supposedly from banks, that even go so far as to copy the colors of the bank logo and stationery style. But, don’t fall for the scam. In fact, don’t even open the email, because many are just set to loose a virus program on your computer by being opened. Simply forward the suspicious email to the “spoof email” address supplied by your bank, or credit card company.
Nearly 10 million Americans fell prey to identity theft last year, costing businesses and individuals billions of dollars. Here are some other tips to help you:
This may all seem like a lot of unnecessary work, but if you’re ever the victim of identity theft – even just once – you’ll realize that it’s well worth the effort.
Many of us forget that were it not for what we carry in our wallets or in our purses, we’re all John and Jane Doe’s if we can’t speak due to injury or are unaccompanied by someone who knows us. How much less stressful is it to know that in a bank box, no matter where you are, there are items that can verify your identity. Better to be safe, than sorry!