Phishing is an attempt to acquire personal information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers or banking numbers. Often, phishing scammers send emails or instant messages disguised as requests for information or instructions from a well-known company or internal department (such as ITS). These can be elaborate scams that include fake websites designed to appear almost identical to the company's official website. Phishing emails usually include a form in the message or a link to this fake website where you are asked to provide sensitive information. Your information is then used to collect additional sensitive information about you or your contacts or gain access to your accounts or finances.
- SCF ITS will never ask your sensitive information via email.
- Most companies, banks and agencies don't request personal information via email. If in doubt, call them (but don't use the phone number contained in the email).
- Never follow a link to a secure website from an email. Always enter the URL manually.
For more information:
Recognizing phishing scams: http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/phishing/identify.mspx
Federal Trade Commission: How not to get hooked by a phishing scam: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt127.shtm