How to Recognize & Avoid Phishing Scams

What is Phishing?

A fraudulent attempt to get your personal information, banking details, and passwords via email, phone or texts. Cyber-criminals often pose as someone calling from your financial institution or other company.

Recent Reported Attacks

November 2019

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scams: Checking out all the deals coming up? So is everyone else, including the bad guys.

Please remember: Never click on links in emails, always use your browser to navigate to the site. Don’t open attachments with special offers, if it’s a real offer, it shouldn’t be an attachment or link. Don’t click on pop ups or ads! Never shop over public Wi-Fi! Keep a close eye on your credit card and bank accounts. If you notice anything unexpected, call your bank or credit card company. Whenever possible, use your credit card for online shopping.

Holiday Shopping and Phishing Scams: The US government released a statement warning citizens to be on the lookout for different types of holiday scams home and while abroad. The alert notes the dangers associated with online shopping. These scams could be anything from shopping deals, holiday ecards or donation campaigns.

Please remember: Never click on unexpected links. If you receive an email asking you to login to a website, don’t follow the link. Login using your normal account through your browser. We all want to help others, especially around the holidays. Before your heart has you make a bad mistake, please do your research before donating.

Year End Employee Benefits & Pay Raises as Bait: Even the bad guys know that good things pop up at the end of the year/beginning of the new year. This could include re-enrollment into benefit plans, raises, surveys. In their phishing emails, they include malicious links or attachments asking for login information.

Please remember: Always ask your HR person if you aren’t sure! Most times, you will know if you should be expecting something from that person too. Don’t just click on something because it says insurance/pay raise.

October 2019

LinkedIn Job Postings: Cyber criminals are creating attractive job postings to target people of all ages. From here, they will ask for your personal information or resume.

Please remember: Never sent personal information or your resume to an email that is unrelated to a company. Only accept LinkedIn invitations from people you know.

Yahoo Data Breach Settlement Phishing Attacks: Did you use a Yahoo email from 2012-2016? You may have gotten personal information stolen from hackers. With the class action lawsuit, Yahoo must offer two years of free credit-monitoring services or $100 to anyone who had an account stolen during this period.

Please remember: Hackers are also using this lawsuit to attempt to trick people into filling out fake claims! If your account was compromised and you want to claim your rights to this settlement, only use their official settlement site,

September 2019

Amazon Phishing Scam in Progress: Cyber criminals are targeting Amazon customers and successfully getting account logins, personal information and sometimes even their banking information. They send phishing emails that look convincing that tell you to update your account information or your account will be deleted. Usually they insert a link or a button that says, “Update Now”. Clicking this will take you to a site they control and made to look like Amazon. Since they control it, they will be able to save anything you input into it!

Please remember: If you receive a suspicious email from an online product or service you use, don’t follow the link! Always log into your account via their website. If the email is making you feel pressured to do something, especially quickly, it’s likely fake. Delete the email, do not forward it to someone.