I received a suspicious message asking for personal information

If you receive an email/text from what seems to be your bank, ISP, mortgage company, etc. asking you to share personal information such as your password or SSN, DO NOT share this information as this is a phishing attempt.

Institutions such as your bank will never contact you through email/text asking you for your personal information.

How do I recognize phishing attempts? Phishing emails/texts will often pose as a well-known company such as your bank and will create a story to trick you into following a link, opening an attachment with malware, etc. For example, the message may say that your account has been hacked or that you must update your payment details to continue using the service.

How do I report a phishing message?

  1. Forward the message you received to the APWG (Anti-Phishing Working Group) at [email protected]. If you received a text message, you can forward it to SPAM (7726) instead.
  2. Report the phishing attempt to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
  3. After reporting, make sure to delete the message.

What should I do if I responded to a phishing message?

  1. If you provided any of your personal information such as your SSN, credit card, etc., immediately visit the FTC's website where you can explore options to mitigate potential risks.
  2. Make sure your accounts are secured by changing your password and following these tips.
    • Do not use similar/common passwords between accounts. Each password should be completely unique and should not contain any personal information.
    • Strong passwords are long and use a good mix of different types of characters (numbers, lower/uppercase, special).
    • Set up 2FA or 2-factor authentication to keep your accounts safe even if the passwords are breached. 2FA will add an extra layer of security to your logins by asking for a unique code every time you login.
    • Use a password manager to keep track of your passwords and keep them secure.