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Phishing

Online fraud protection begins with you.

Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. This is considered Internet crime. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing is typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one.

Smishing is a form of phishing but delivered through cell phone text messages. These messages ask for immediate attention and then provide a web site URL or a phone number that connects you to an automated voice response system. This then requires you to give personal information.

In many cases the smishing message will show the number that sent the message as “5000” instead of an actual phone number. When this happens the SMS message was sent via email to the cell phone and not sent from another cell phone.

To report suspicious activity for Internet (phishing) or cell phones (smishing) crime, contact www.ic3.gov.