Don’t Take the Bait from Online Phishers

As an Internet provider, security is a huge concern for our customers. We’ve recently transitioned to a new IMAP email server to strengthen security. Although we’re using the latest technologies to keep our e-mail customers secure, we want to make sure all of our customers can be safe with slimy phish swimming in their emails.

What is a phishing scam?

Phishing scams are fraudulent emails that appear to come from somewhere legitimate like your bank, your phone company, etc. These emails typically take you a landing page that is designed to look safe, but then requests private information to “confirm” your identity.

Often, the scam tells you that your account has been hacked and that you must act now to verify your information and secure your account. These scare tactics encourage quick action to trick recipients into divulging private facts.

How can you spot a phish?

If it smells phish-y, it probably is. Responsible organizations/companies will not ask you to take these kinds of urgent actions via email. Here are some tips:

  • Be suspicious of any email asking for information verification
  • Read your email as plain text. You’ll be able to see any URLs in the email and can see right away if it’s legitimate.
  • Do not reply to or click the links in the suspicious message
  • If you think it might be legitimate, don’t click. Instead, call the company in question immediately to find out if it is.
  • If you spot a phish, delete the email from your inbox and empty your trash to avoid any accidental clicks

So… you’ve been caught on the hook by a phishing scam. Now what?

Report the scam immediately to the company that is being imitated, the FTC, and the Anti-Phishing Working Group.

Next, change all of your passwords and any other information you’ve shared with the scammers. Any information that is changeable (credit card info, etc.) you should consider changing. If you shared your Social Security Number, keep a very close eye on your accounts. Be proactive and stay alert.