Email Phishing Identity Theft Schemes - Fraud Warnings

Phishing

Here are some of the more common email "phishing" identity theft schemes in circulation today. Emails are sent to a large number of email addresses (fishing with a wide net) in an attempt to "catch" a percentage of users who will input their credit card and / or checking account information.

What it looks like:

  • Email is allegedly from eBay or PayPal or a Financial Institution.
  • Email asks you to update your account information before your account is deactivated.
  • Email may contain appropriate logo and graphic style.
  • Email contains a link to use for updating account information.
  • Email is addressed to a generic name.

What to know:

Email from eBay and email from PayPal will always be addressed to your full account name. They will not ask you to update account information via a link in an email.

The links in the phishing email may look like they go to eBay or to PayPal or to your Financial Institution's web site, but they actually go to an unauthorize web site. Always type the domain in the browser so you go directly to the appropriate web site to login to your account. Do not use links in email.

What it looks like:

  • Email informs you that your email address was entered in a lottery.
  • Email informs you that you have won a large cash prize.

They will ask you for your checking account information in order to transfer the money to you, and instead, they will empty out your account.

Urgent Business Email

What it looks like:

  • Email from a relative of a wealthy official or business man in a war torn country.
  • Email asks for your cooperation in transferring large sums of money.
  • Email asks you to keep this confidential.

They will ask you for your checking account information in order to transfer the money to you, and instead, they will empty out your account.

What it looks like:

  • Email from a business overseas.
  • Email asks you to be their representative in the United States.
  • Email asks to accept customer payments through you in exchange for a percentage of the money.

What to know:

They will take the money you have accepted from the customers and not deliver the merchandise. This leaves you owing product or money to the customers.

Learn more about managing your identity and preventing identity theft.