Internet-related fraud is truly a global crime. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, regardless of age, nationality, gender or occupation. The criminals involved in internet fraud can operate from anywhere on the planet where there is an internet connection.
Internet fraud covers a wide range of activities, but here's a quick example: You receive an email message that appears to be from a legitimate organization like a bank, government agency, charity group or other not-for-profit organizations which includes an urgent request for personal information or an immediate update to an account. Clicking on a link provided in the email leads to an official-looking website. Personal information provided to this site, however, goes directly to the scam artist. In the body of the email, the organization or agency may ask for personal information like date of birth, social insurance number, mother's maiden name, banking information or passwords. This is all sensitive information, and in the wrong hands, it could be used to access your bank accounts or set up credit cards in your name.
Never send anyone your password or other sensitive information. A legitimate organization would never ask for it.
• Be suspicious of any email or text message containing urgent requests for personal or financial information (financial institutions and credit card companies normally will not use e-mail to confirm an existing client's information).
• Contact the organization by using a telephone number from a credible source such as a phone book or a bill.
• Never email personal or financial information.
• Avoid embedded links in an email claiming to bring you to a secure site.
• Get in the habit of looking at a website's address line and verify if it displays something different from the address mentioned in the email.
• Regularly update your computer protection with anti-virus software, spyware filters, email filters and firewall programs.
• A number of legitimate companies and financial institutions that have been targeted by phishing schemes have published contact information for reporting possible phishing emails as well as online notices about how their customers can recognize and protect themselves from phishing.
• Regularly check your bank, credit and debit card statements to ensure that all transactions are legitimate.