Unless you haven’t looked at your email inbox in the last few years, you know that spam and phishing schemes are at epidemic proportions. And no matter how knowledgeable you are about these scams, it only takes one wrong click to lay your identity and perhaps even your life savings at the feet of a scammer.

To help you steer clear of phishing schemes and email scams, please carefully read and follow the following tips. Note: These tips are not a guarantee that your identity will not be stolen, only that they are additional steps to help keep your identity safe.

How To Avoid Phishing Schemes Tips

  • If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply or click the link in the message. Legitimate companies do not ask for this information in email.
  • Never disclose personal or financial information in email. Email is not a secure method of transmitting sensitive information.
  • Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to determine if you have any unauthorized charges.
  • Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date. Some phishing email messages contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge.
  • Be cautious when opening any attachment or downloading any file from email messages you receive, regardless of who appears to have sent them.
  • Report suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, file your complaint at www.ftc.gov.