Police Blotter

How do I avoid Phishing Scams

March 6, 2013 12:59 PM

Online job-hunting scams:
Phishing scams might appear as a phony job ad, used to convince job hunters to send them personal information. Cyber criminals post their ads on legitimate job sites and often use familiar-looking or convincing company logos, language, and links to fake websites that appear to be those of real organizations.  These sites might also charge fees for services they will never render.  Typically, after a few days the thieves close down the scam and disappear.  Best practices for online job hunters;

• Never provide any non-work related personal information such as your social security number, credit card number, date of birth, home address, and marital status online, through email, over the phone, in a fax, or on your resume.
• List your resume on a job site that allows only verified recruiters to scan them and uses a privacy policy.
• Verify a prospective employer, recruiter, or recruiting agency through another source such as the Better Business Bureau or a phone book, and then contact them directly--or better yet, visit them in person at the company location during regular work hours.
• If a prospective recruiter or employer requests a background check, agree to do so only after you have met with them at their company location during regular work hours.
• Beware of anyone who asks you for money up front in exchange for finding work for you. You should never have to pay for "exclusive" job leads or for a job itself.
• If you are paying for job placement services, don't provide credit card or bank information or engage in any monetary transactions unless done in person, onsite, with a prospective recruiter or job agency.
• Carefully evaluate contact information in job ads or related email messages, watching out for spelling errors, an email address that does not feature the company's name, and inconsistencies with area or zip codes.
• Create an exclusive web-based email address and account for all non-personal communication.

Donation Scams:

Natural disasters, political campaigns, and global health issues are often the focus of donation phishing scams. For example, in recent years, cyber criminals have taken advantage of earthquakes and tsunamis to create illegitimate "charity" businesses to help the survivors of these events.

Most of these scams begin with an email message or a post in an online forum asking for donations in the name of well-known, legitimate charities.  When you click a link, you are taken to a phony website designed to trick you into providing your personal financial information.  How to avoid donation scams;

• Be on guard if you receive an unsolicited email message from a charitable organization asking for money. Don't open any attachments or click any links. Manually type the charity's web address into your browser's address bar and make sure the request is legitimate before you donate.
• Double-check the spelling of the organization's website in the address bar before looking through the site. Spoofed websites often use deliberate, easily overlooked misspellings to deceive users.
• On the web page where you enter your credit card or other personal information, look for an "s" after http in the web address of that page. It should read: https://. (Encryption is a security measure that scrambles data as it traverses the Internet.)
• Make sure that there is a tiny closed padlock in the address bar, or on the lower-right corner of the window.
• If you are using Internet Explorer, one sign of trustworthiness is that the address bar turns green and displays both https and the closed padlock.
• Improve your computer's defenses by always using firewall, antivirus, and antispyware software, and making sure to download and install updates for all of your software. Use automatic updates so you don't have to manually install the updates.

 Email to a friend

Subscribe to Email List

Subscribe to the Police Blotter email list:

By participating on this list the Wisconsin Public Records Laws may subject your email address to disclosure to third parties. By selecting "Yes" you are requesting that we treat your email address that you have provided to this list as confidential and you are also stating that you would not participate in this service if the City is obligated to release your email address to such third party requesters.

Posts By Month

Posts By Category

Tags

Amigos en Azul  Bike Rides  Black Youth Academy  Captain Balles  Captain Gloede  Captain Lengfeld  Captain McLay  Captain Patterson  Captain Schauf  Captain Wahl  Central District  Ceremonies  Chief Koval  Citizen Recognition  Community Awards  Community Forums  Community Gang Outreach  Community Partnership  Community Policing  Community Survey  Crime Prevention  Crime Stoppers  Cyber Detective Camp  Cyber Safety  Damaged Property  Downtown Safety  Driving Safely  East District  East High School  Edgewood College  Education Resource Officer  Events  Explorers Post  Facebook  Fireside Five-Oh  Fireside Five-Oh  Guerrilla Grillers  Guerrilla Grillers  Investigations  Join the Team  K9  LaFollette High School  LeadsOnline  Lieutenant Patterson  Madison Schools  MedDrop Box  Mobile Device Safety  Mounted Patrol  MPD Awards Ceremony  Neighborhood Police Officers  New Recruits  North District  North District  Pawn Shops  Pedestrian Safety  Personal Safety  Phishing Scams  Police Biking  Property Crimes  Red Cross Blood Drive  Registered Sex Offender  Residential Burglaries  Road Home  Road Home  Robberies  Safe Communities  Safety in the Home  Safety Saturday  Secondhand Business  Self Report Unit  Shooting  Shout Out  Solicitor Permits  South District  Southwest Safety Initiative  Spanish  Special Olympics  Straubel  Straubel  Torch Run  Traffic Concerns  Traffic Enforcement Safety Team (TEST)  Twitter  UW-Madison  Weapons Offenses  West District  Zero in Wisconsin