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What are “Phishing” and “Pharming”, and how do I protect myself?

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What are “Phishing” and “Pharming”, and how do I protect myself?

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Phishing is a newer type of scam. Thieves send you a fake email that appears to be from a company you trust. Emails might ask you for passwords, social security numbers, credit card numbers, or other financial information which permits thieves to access your bank accounts and credit card accounts, or use your personal information to obtain credit in your name (identity theft). To protect yourself against Phishing, be wary of emails that ask you for information a company should already have, such as your passwords, your social security number, or other information that you would normally keep secure. Do not reply to such emails. Instead, you are advised to call the company at a telephone number that you know is accurate (shown on a bill, monthly statement, or other correspondence from the company), and ask customer service whether the email is genuine. Often, “Phishing” scams will represent that your information was lost, whereas genuine inquiries of this nature are always sent by mail.

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