Alan Sorensen Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Local law enforcement agencies have joined efforts to make the public aware of and guarded against phishing, an e-mail scam designed to gather personal data. The Hill County Sheriff’s Office, Hill County Attorney’s Office, Havre Police Department and Havre prosecutor’s office are cautioning people about the common Internet schemes. Con artists send millions of fraudulent e-mail messages that appear to come from Web sites people trust, such as their banks or credit card companies, and request personal information, the agencies said in a press release. As scam artists become more sophisticated, so do their phishing e-mail messages and pop-up windows. They often include official-looking logos from real organizations and other identifying information taken directly from legitimate Web sites. The agencies offer these tips in recognizing phishing scams:
“Verify your account” Businesses should not ask you to send passwords, login names, Social Security numbers or other personal information through e-mail.
“If you don’t respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed” These messages convey a sense of urgency so you’ll respond immediately without thinking. Phishing e-mail might even claim that your response is required because your account might have been compromised.
“Dear valued customer” Phishing e-mail messages are Usually sent out in bulk and often do not contain your first or last name.
The local agencies advise residents never to respond to the e-mails or follow links provided in the e-mails. “If you are concerned, go to the bank, credit card or other company’s official Web site and locate the contact information for customer service,” the agencies ’ news release said. “Additionally, never give out personal information such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data or other information unless your are 100 percent positive that the recipient is a trusted source.”