American First Provides Members The Basics of Phishing
LA HABRA, Calif. - American First Credit Union is trying to raise awareness about recent phishing scams that may impact the Orange County community. It has been informing members about phishing and exactly what it is. For instance it tells members that "phishing" is pronounced "fishing" and is a "type of Internet piracy in which thieves try to obtain personal information, such as account numbers, social security numbers and credit card information from their online victims. Victims typically receive an e-mail from what appears to be a company, financial institution or government agency they trust. They are asked to verify personal information, provide account numbers and passwords `for verification purposes.' Thieves can then use the information to access bank accounts, use credit cards, take out loans and even steal identities." This may seem like basic information, but for those not aware of phishing, it is an introduction to the scam. American First offered its members the following tips: * Never provide personal information in response to an unsolicited request by phone, e-mail or the Internet. * If you believe the contact may be legitimate, consult with the institution to verify the contact. * Never provide your password over the phone or in response to an unsolicited Internet request. * Review account statements regularly to make sure all charges are correct. "American First Credit Union takes these phishing scams seriously, and has taken all the necessary steps to help prevent these threats," said Bob Street, American First President/CEO. "We would never send an e-mail asking for personal information, and if people should ever receive such an e-mail from what appears to be their financial institution, they should notify them immediately."