Update, Validate, Confirm? Don't Click!
This news item expired April 28, 2006. It may contain out-of-date information.
April 17, 2006 12:00 a.m. CDT
When you receive emails asking you to update your personal information, validate an account, or confirm your identity, don't click on the link
Emails such as these are part of a scam called "phishing". The message sounds serious, and it is... the fraudster who sends you spam or pop-up messages is trying to lure you into divulging personal information (credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information).
Your first clue the email is not legitimate is if it's from a business or organization that you haven't dealt with. For example, if you don't have a Chase Bank, PayPal, or credit union account, why would you need to update your information? Even if it's an organization you know (for example, Iowa Credit Union League), remember that legitimate companies don't ask for this information via email.
What should you do with the phishing email? Just delete it. It is almost always from spoofed addresses or compromised computers. By the time we follow up, the source has already been shut down.
To reduce the amount of spam you receive in your Iowa State University email account, visit http://www.it.iastate.edu/spam/ and learn how filtering your email can help you manage your email.
To learn more about how to protect yourself from phishing, visit the Federal Trade Commission website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/phishingalrt.htm.
Statement from the Iowa Credit Union League: