Fraudsters out to steal your money and your data are getting more sophisticated. One of their favorite methods of getting your personal information is through "phishing".

With phishing, fraudsters send deceptive emails, text messages and even phone calls, claiming to be a reputable source, such as a financial institution, online retailer, government entity - or even SECU.

A typical phishing email warns of some kind of threat or problem and attempts to get people to click on a link in order to confirm their security details. The unsuspecting user clicks through to a website that is not related to the reputable organization (although it may look like it – some phishers are very good at what they do!).

Any details entered into this fake site have a good chance of being used for fraudulent purposes. Or, the link may infect your computer, giving access to the bad guys. Reputable financial institutions and credit card companies will never ask you to confirm your details this way.

The below graphic shows how to spot and handle a potential phishing email.

Phishing email decision tree

Click for larger image.


Do not provide any information to anyone in response to an unexpected email, text message, or phone call. If you receive any of these types of communications, either ignore them or contact your financial institution by telephone to ask their advice.