Do you know what to look out for in phishing email scams? Often sent by email, these scams seek to infect computers with malware or steal personal information, but often, even savvy surfers of the web can be fooled.

What is “Phishing”

Phishing“Phishing” has received a lot of attention in the press recently. It is a way that fraudsters try to acquire personal, sensitive information such as login names, passwords, credit and debit card information, birth dates, and social security numbers, to access financial resources for malicious purposes. Phishing scams often appear to come from a familiar, trusted resource through your email. While the attempts sometimes obviously look like spam, a well-crafted email can contain the logo of the entity the fraudster is trying to mask their identity through and can be difficult to identify.

How Can I Protect Myself?

Email communication is becoming more and more common, but there are a few ways you can avoid falling victim to a phishing scam. Here are four steps you can take to protect your personal information in a phishing scam:

  1. Watch for Misspelled URLs

Appearing in the address bar, these can be off by as little as one character, or may have a sub-domain added to the main address that drives to the spoofed website.

  1. Think Before You Click the Link

Again, this can be tricky to watch for, but if you hover your mouse over a link in an email without clicking on it, you can see the web address. If it looks suspect, do not click the link and contact customer service for the company the email appears to have originated from.

  1. Start Using Multi-Factor Authentication

We know – not another password! You may have seen some companies requiring a second security step, such as a PIN or a fingerprint, which is required in addition to your login and password to access an account. While it may seem like a bother, this protects you. In the event your password were stolen in a phishing scam, having the additional step in place adds a level of security that prevents a thief from accessing any information using only the password.

  1. Ask Us at WCFCU

If you ever receive an email that looks like it is from us, but something feels off or suspicious about it, please do not hesitate to visit your nearest branch to discuss what you saw. Our staff will be able to help you clarify whether or not the email originated from our credit union, or will be able to report the fraudulent activity in the event it has occurred.