Pfishing

Email or pop-up messages that claim to be from a business or organization you may deal with; a bank, Internet service provider (ISP), online payment service, or even a government agency. The message may ask you to "update," "validate," or "confirm" your account information or face dire consequences.

Phishing is a scam where criminals send spam or pop-up messages to reel in personal and financial information from unsuspecting victims. The messages direct you to a website that looks amazingly just like a legitimate organization's site, or to a phone number purporting to be real. But these are bogus and exist simply to trick you into divulging your personal information so the operators can steal it, fake your identity, and run up bills or commit crimes in your name.

Make it a policy never to respond to emails or pop-ups that ask for your personal or financial information, click on links in the message, or call phone numbers given in the message. Don't cut and paste a link from the message into your Web browser, either; phishers can make links look like they go one place, but then actually take you to a look-alike site. If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization using a phone number you know to be genuine, or open a new Internet browser session and type in the company's correct Web address yourself. Using anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a firewall, and keeping them up to date, can help. You may forward phishing emails to the Internet Crime Complaint Center - IC3. If you have lost money to one of these schemes or think you may have given some of your personal information to someone inappropriately contact your local police.McGruff