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Phishing is Alive and Well

If you are a target of a phishing scam, you will receive an e-mail claiming to be from your bank or credit union. The e-mail will indicate your account will be shut down unless you update your information.

If you click on the link it could take you to a web page that appears to be the official site of your financial institution. If you log in to the fake site, the identity thieves will have your back and credit union password.

Keep in mind, your financial institution will never send you an e-mail asking for financial or personal information.

Not So Hot Spots

Coffee bars are a great place to relax and if they have a public Wi-Fi connection, they even offer a chance to catch up on your things-to-do list. Wi-Fi hot spots are popping up all over. Unfortunately, so are sniffers, programs that snatch information traveling across networks.

Hackers use software called packet sniffers, usually available online, to sniff out data in known wireless areas.

Another challenge is a Wi-Fi hot spot that is set up to look like a well known wireless connection spot. Security experts call this an “evil twin’ that will have sophisticated artwork in a logo that looks like it has all the markings of a complete security. The problem is, in reality, it passes data through a hackers pc.

Since there is no way to tell if a hot spot is secure, consumers should assume they are unsafe and never send confidential information to do banking or to purchase something while they are visiting one of them.

Always protect your information and use anti-virus and anti-spyware.

A Victim’s True Story

Charles B. was very excited and immediately fantasized about trips with his grandchildren and a new car at the least. Why? He received a very official looking e-mail from the State Treasurer proclaiming that he was the heir to unclaimed property.

He eagerly completed the form requesting critical information that would confirm who he was.

Although he was 75 years old, he knew he was the last living survivor from a large family. This motivated him to act quickly and without doubt.

The state did not act quickly. In fact, Mr. B. heard nothing from the state, but he did hear from two large box stores, thanking him for opening charge accounts.

When he received his credit card bills, he knew that his dreams had become a nightmare. He then realized he was another victim of identity theft.