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Phishing FAQs

Last Updated:  11/18/11 7:27:47 PM 8373-8193-4465

What is phishing?

Phishing is an online scam used to fraudulently collect your personal information, such as passwords or bank account and credit card numbers. 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 can send email that appears to be sent by a legitimate bank or business - or ASU - asking 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. A scammer might say, for instance, that an important service such as email or banking will be stopped unless the recipient responds immediately.

Examples of phishing techniques:

Example of Phishing Techniques

Why can’t ASU stop these messages?

ASU does stop nearly 14 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 sends 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 financial 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 these Web sites:


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