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How to Recognize Phishing

Phishing is one of the most prevalent identity theft scams you’ll encounter on the web. It’s estimated that about 75 to 150 million phishing emails are sent out daily. Learn how to recognize them so you don’t fall victim to this common scam.


Millions of emails like this one, that are designed to help criminals steal identities, go out every single day. These are called phishing scams.

It starts with opening the email message. As soon as you open a message, you should begin noticing some things aren't quite right. For example, financial institutions do not send emails requesting that members click on links or provide information.

Beware the Urgent Ploy
This message was sent with High Importance.

From: ABC Credit Union [ABCCreditUnion@online.com
Subject: ABC Credit Union will never ask for your PIN

Phishers – criminals who send out emails trying to capture your personal information use any means necessary to get you to respond, and that includes marking email messages Urgent.

Click to follow link

All phishing emails have one thing in common: links that don’t lead where they appear to. Looking at the link in this email message, it appears to lead to onlinebanking.abccreditunion.com.

One way to tell if what you see is really where you’ll end up is to place your pointer over the link. (But don’t click it!) A pop-up window like the one shown in the image above should appear with the actual URL attached to the link. In phishing emails, this address rarely matches what’s displayed in the email.

Regular Maintenance Claims

During our regulary scheduled account maintenance and verification procedures, we have detected a slight error in your account information. To securley confirm your personal information please click on the link below:

A very common tactic that phishers use is telling email recipients that ‘regular maintenance’ turned up an account error of some type. Don’t fall for this!

The Protection Claim

Confirm Your ABC Credit Union Account now to enjoy the benefits of online banking and finance to avoid indentity theft and fraudulent activities on your account.

Marking a message urgent or high-priority is another trick that phishers use to play on your sense of vulnerability. “Confirm your account now to stop fraudulent activity.”

Confirming your account usually means providing all of the identifying information that a criminal needs to gain control of the account. When in doubt, call the number on your credit card or account statement.

Can You Spell Criminal?

Note: We will be upgrading our yearly SSL EncryptedServer   to prevent fraudulent activity.

Have you ever seen a piece of mail from your Credit Card Company or financial institution that included misspellings or punctuation errors? Errors of this kind are sure indicators that an amateur is trying to steal your identity.

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