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Help! I Think I've Been Phished
Help! I think I've Been Phished!

Picture this scenario.

You're at the office working on a sales report that's due in 3 hours. You receive an e-mail notification from your credit card company confirming a purchase of round trip tickets to Las Vegas. Knowing that you didn’t plan any trip or book any flight, you open the link on the e-mail to review the transaction. On the linked website, you see a charge for $3,000. Worried about what looks like a fraudulent purchase, you login to the website to cancel the transaction. After filling in your credit card information and disputing the ticket purchase, the website flashes a message that the transaction has been cancelled. You breathe a sigh of relief.

Moments later, you notice that the URL of the website where you typed your username and password is misspelled. You decide to look at the e-mail message again and find that the notification e-mail came from a generic e-mail address, and then it sinks in — you’ve been phished.

With the volume of e-mail we receive everyday and the methods employed by scammers becoming more sophisticated, it’s easy to fall prey to these online predators.

Fortunately, recovery from these attacks is possible. If you believe that you’ve unwittingly given confidential personal information to a phishing website, here are steps you can take to minimize - or even prevent - any damage.

Change your passwords immediately

It’s crucial that you lock out the scammers from your account before they can do any damage. You can do this by changing the password of the account that was breached. If you use the same password in other services, change those as well. Remember to use strong, unique passwords for every account.

Contact your bank or credit card company immediately

If you’ve inadvertently given out your ATM or credit card information, get in touch with the issuing financial institution as quickly as you can and report the theft. You should also cancel the affected account and open a new one.

Report the theft to major credit reporting agencies

To protect your credit standing and prevent fraud, you should likewise notify credit reporting agencies and request that they place a fraud alert on your file. Also, request a free copy of your credit report and check for any red flags.

File a complaint with the appropriate government agency

Since phishing attacks often lead to identity theft, which has wider implications than just financial losses, it’s important that you report the incident to the FTC and the Internet Crime Complaint Center of the FBI as well.

Update your Internet security suite and run a full system scan

Make sure that your computer is free from key loggers and other malwares by doing a complete scan of your system using an updated copy of your Internet security software.

For more practical tips on security, browse through our Learning Center today.

For everything ID, speak with our ID experts at 1-800-667-1772. Calls are toll-free. You can also reach us via email.

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