What is "Phishing"?

Phishing is a term used to describe the action of fraudulently assuming the identity of a legitimate organization or web site using email or web pages.  The purpose is to convince consumers to share their user names, passwords and personal financial information for the purpose of using it to commit fraud.

On the Internet, phishing - also called "carding" or "brand spoofing" - is a scam where the perpetrator sends out legitimate-looking emails appearing to come from some of the Web's biggest sites - including eBay, PayPal, MSN, Yahoo, BestBuy, and America Online - in an effort to phish out personal and financial information from the hapless user. Phishers use any number of different social engineering and email spoofing ploys to trick their victims.

Recently, a number of email users here at Suffolk have received emails from UCU and CUNA. (University Credit Union) and (Credit Union National Association). It's important to know that no financial institution will ever send you an email asking you to enter personal information.

"Email Phishing" is a growing problem. Email phishing - fishing for personal information via email - is used by many scam artists on the internet looking to commit various crimes. These crimes can be as simple as misdirecting you to their website, re-directing your web browser or pretending to be your bank and asking for your personal information to commit identity fraud.

Email phishing has become an increasing problem over the past few years and is being directed more and more at colleges and universities. The basic idea is to make you think that the email is coming from a company you trust. eBay and CitiBank have been the victims of many phishing endeavors.

Protect Yourself!

  • Never click on url (web links) that appear inside of an email.
  • Always ask yourself, "Why would this company ask for my information via email?" No reputable company will ever ask for personal information via email. No bank will ever contact you via email regarding personal information.
  • If in doubt, delete the message.
  • If in doubt, call the company and ask them if they are in fact sending out emails regarding the subject line of the email you received.

For more information regarding Phishing and Email Phishing, cut and paste the following links into your web browser:

Listing of Fraudulent Phishing Scams