We’re all online these days, to one degree or another. Bad actors know going after your online information is very tempting. Sometimes it’s easy to spot, like the Nigerian prince who’s still trying to get his millions out of country after all these years.
Unfortunately, many are more insidious and these people target your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) including debit and credit card numbers, Social Security number, and financial accounts. Criminals may also try to get you to click on embedded links or open attached files to try and infect your computer or install malware that steals this information.
Extra Attic is very respectful of your online privacy and security so we wanted to post this article to help you identify and evaluate online communications you receive.
The general term for these fraudulent emails is “phishing”. Here are some steps you can take any time you receive an email you’re not expecting, even if it looks like it’s from a source you know:
Fraudsters don’t limit their attempts to steal your information to emails, they’ll also do so via the phone. It can sometimes be difficult to identify these attempts. If you’re at all suspicious, ask the caller for a phone number to call them back, and independently validate the number before you call back. Google can be very helpful here, and can sometimes direct you to services that compile lists of fraudulent phone numbers.
Extra Attic may sometimes need to contact you by phone, most often if you have auto-bill and your credit card has expired. You can verify this by checking your card’s status and ask to call back if you’re not comfortable taking an incoming call. We won’t be offended!
Lastly, if you do encounter a fraudulent email or phone, please contact the company that’s being impersonated. They will appreciate being notified about the problem and can take the necessary steps to resolve it.