Welcome to our F.A.Q. section. Here we'll aim to answer some of the most common questions we receive about email phishing scams and this website:
If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us.
- What is an email phishing scam?
In brief, a 'phishing' email is one that pretends to be from a company or bank like eBay, PayPal, WAMU, Suntrust etc, and which asks you, (for various reasons), to enter your account data, such as login details. These scams are often supported by fake spoof websites, and victims are tricked into thinking they are logging to a real website. Phishing is a form of identity theft, where fraudsters steal your identity and personal information to gain access to your accounts or commit other crimes using your persona.
- What should I do if receive one?
If you do receive a scam email, you should not click on any of the links it contains or believe anything it says. Ideally you should delete it straight away, but it would be useful if you submit it to us and to the bank or institution it is targeting.
- I have fallen victim to a scam and sent out my details to the phishers, what should I do?
You should act immediately. Depending on how much information you revealed, you should log into your relevant accounts and change your usernames and passwords. This will stop the fraudsters accessing your accounts with the information you sent them. Contact your banks and financial institutions and make them aware of the situation in case of problems. They should also give you further help and advice.
- How did the phishers get my email address/name?
You may wonder how the scammers got your address or knew you were a member of a particular bank or institution. Often it is just good luck on the part of the scammers. They normally do not target individuals, but send out thousands of scam emails to randomly generated email addresses, in the hope that just a few will be successful. They also trawl the web for valid addresses they can use, and swap this information with each other. If you have ever posted on an internet forum or published something on the web, there's a good chance your address is out there somewhere just waiting to be found. If you have fallen victim before, your address is normally added to a list of 'easy victims', and you are likely to then receive even more scams.
- I am suspicious that an email I received is a scam, what should I do?
Search for the email on our site. If you find it, or one that looks very similar, then you can be about 99% certain it's a scam. The golden rule is that banks and other institutions NEVER ask for personal data by email. If in doubt, you can forward the email to the supposed sender and ask them if they sent it, but make sure you type in the return address by hand!