Be Cautious When Responding to Emails
Use caution when clicking links in emails, opening attachments, or responding with private information. NEVER provide user names, passwords, account numbers, tax id numbers, social security numbers, or other private information in response to an email request. Always use independent verification to check the authenticity of the email, before opening attachments or clicking links. If an email suggests a required action online, sign on by using a trusted browser bookmark/favorite, rather than a link provided in an email. If you need to place a phone call to check validity, use a number you trust rather than a number provided in an email.
90% of people are fooled by a well–constructed “phishing” email. Be aware that an email that looks entirely reputable may be designed that way by a fraudster. The email may appear to be official but is actually an attempt to spread a computer virus or collect data. Criminals often send mass emails in hopes of tricking people into sharing confidential information. It is not enough that an email is from an address you recognize. (For example, the Melissa virus spread precisely because it originated from a familiar address.)