Phishing is a technique that uses fake emails or fraudulent websites to gain personal information for purposes of identity theft. The fraudulent email messages and/or websites are designed to trick recipients into divulging personal financial data such as credit card numbers, online banking login credentials, social security numbers, etc.
Sometimes, phishers will create a fake website that looks legitimate and attach a link to the fake website in an email. Unsuspecting recipients that click on this link will find that the website that opens up that resembles the correct website. However, the computer user does not know that they have been redirected to a fake website which can be designed to collect personal information (such as account numbers and social security numbers.)
- Be suspicious of any email that requires an urgent response from you and that seems alarming or exciting. Phishers will send emails that require your immediate attention or to "verify their records." They usually ask for information such as usernames, passwords, account numbers, social security numbers, etc. Emails from phishers are generally not personalized and may appear to be sent in mass distribution.
- Do not click on links sent in an email that is asking for information. Emails suggesting to "click here" in order to enter personal information may end up redirecting you to a fake site that could be collecting your data for malicious use. If you are unsure of the legitimacy of a Seattle Credit Union email, contact us at 206-398-5500.
- Avoid filling out forms asking for confidential or financial information unless you are dealing with a reputable site that you can verify as authentic. If you enter any information, make sure that it is done over a secure link (SSL). This can be verified by checking the "lock" icon in your browser window or displaying HTTPS:// in the address bar. (HTTPS:// - the "S" represents secure)