Phishing: Frequently Asked Questions.

What is phishing?

Pronounced “fishing, it is a type of online identity theft that uses email and fraudulent websites that are designed to steal your personal data or information such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data or other information. Some email messages you receive may look and seem legitimate but should actually be avoided, deleted and reported.


What does phishing look like?

Email that asks for your personal or financial information may be a phishing scam. Scammers/Fraudsters can send email that appears to be sent by a legitimate business such as Redtail that asks you to call a phone number or click a link to update an account, access a “refund" or verify your contact information. They often make false but alarming statements to excite people into responding without double-checking the message. They do this by using dramatic words or statements. Please remember that Redtail's emails will be branded with Redtail's logo and include all of our contact information.


Why can’t Email Service Providers stop these type of messages?

Redtail does stop over a million spam, phishing and virus-related email messages per day. However, the technology used to send spam and phishing emails is constantly changing. While blocking these messages helps, unfortunately there’s no substitute for all of us also being vigilant to avoid being fooled by those messages that do get through.


What can I do to avoid phishing scams?

There are some easy steps you can follow to avoid phishing scams, including:

  • Don’t use email to send your personal and financial information
  • Don’t reply to email or pop-up messages that ask for your personal or financial information
  • Don’t click on links or cut-n-paste a link from an unfamiliar message into your browser. Phishers can make a link look like it will take you to one place but actually send you to a different site.
  • Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges.
  • Be cautious about opening email attachments or downloading email files, regardless of who sent them to you
  • Use firewalls and anti-virus and anti-spyware software, updating them all regularly


What should I do if I receive phishing spam?


What should I do if I have been scammed by a phisher?

If you’ve been scammed, contact the company/institution affected immediately and visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Web site to find out more about how to protect yourself.


Where can I get more information?

For more information about phishing and how to stop it, visit the links below:

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