Protect Yourself

As a rule of thumb, if you ever receive an email message or phone call from any organization asking you to provide them with personal information, such as your social security number, password, account numbers, etc., you should view any such contact as a potential fraud attempt - do not respond.

Phone contacts of this type should never occur and, while it is common for companies to send email messages with links to their web sites, it is extremely rare and a bad practice for them to send you an email message requesting that you enter, re-enter or confirm your personal information.

If you believe that the contact may be legitimate, or you need to update your personal information for any organization at any time, do not navigate to their website by clicking a link received in an email. It is much safer to access the organization's website by typing its published web address directly into your browser.

Reminder about e-mail links and attachments

Always be a bit suspicious of the email messages that you receive, especially those that include attachments and/or links. The sender's name can be forged, so it's not good enough to just know who the sender is. You should also determine if the content of the email message is written in a manner that is consistent with what you would expect from that source. And even if the source looks legitimate, avoid clicking any attachment or link contained within the email message unless you know what it is and why you received it.

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