Fraudsters are finding new ways to lure consumers into disclosing their personal and financial information. The scammers need your personal and financial information to take money out of your pocket - and put it into theirs. Email, text messages, and phone calls are various forms of phishing. Although the methods change with technology, the scam remains the same.
The following are phishing techniques that fraudsters are using to capture the personal and financial information of others:
►Scam: Social Networks
Be wary of clicking any links in emails or accessing social networking sites for holiday themes, as these links may redirect you to an indirect site registered by the fraudster. Close your browser if you see a link to download or install an application.
►Scam: Call Forwarding
A fraudster could be call forwarding your landline or cell phone number to another telephone - in most cases, a prepaid cell phone. Place a password on your telephone numbers to prevent them from being call forwarded.
►Scam: Text Messaging
A fraudster sends a text message (called smishing) and you respond to the request... be alert when text messages appear on your cell phone, smart phone, or PDA device. If the message requests personal or financial information, contact your financial institution immediately, and do not respond to the text message.
►Scam: Voice Vishing
This scam attempts to trick you into providing personal and financial information over the phone. Most vishing scams begin with an email or text message asking you to call a toll-free number. When you call the number, you are led through a series of voice prompted menus that ask for key financial information such as a card or account number and PIN (Personal Identification Number). Never call the telephone number. Instead, report the contact or message to your financial institution immediately.
►Scam: Spoofing the Caller ID
You receive a call from either a live person or a recorded message with a spoofed Caller ID. The Caller ID may list a legitimate looking telephone number, but it may be fraud. Fraudsters have spoofed the Caller ID systems and assigned any area codes to a phone number so that it appears to be a legitimate 800 number or local number. Never provide personal information to the caller. Always hang up and contact your financial institution - at a number you know is legitimate - to report or verify the call.