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Phishing, Vishing and Smishing, Oh My!

Phishing, Vishing and Smishing, Oh My!

Folks, let me start by saying that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is! It's highly unlikely that you've won a lottery for which you've never entered, or that you'll be offered a job for which you never applied. So why do people keep falling for this?

Phishing, Vishing and Smishing.

These are popular scams that succeed when criminals get you to give personal information through email, voice communication online or SMS messaging. For example, you get an email from your bank stating your access has been frozen because of unauthorized activity and they need you to give them highly personal information to verify it's you. That's a scam.

To help you sort through what's legitimate from what's not, here are some tips for pointing out the scammers for what they are...thieves and liars!

* Grammar. Most of these emails and texts will have a ton of misspelled words and very poor grammar. In the words of Jeff Foxworthy, "There's your sign."

* If you don't bank at the institution mentioned in the email, it's a scam. Need I say more?

* Woohoo, you won the Canadian lottery! Too bad you've never set foot on Canadian soil. How'd you win? And why would you have to send money back in order to get the money in the first place? Hmm.

I think you see where I'm going here. Don't give out personal information to anyone you're not sure about, mmmkay. Getting out of debt is hard enough, don't add to it with fees and overdrawn accounts!

—Kristy Young

Posted: 12/5/08

And cut, shred or burn anything with your name and address on it -- especially if it has any type of account information. I've seen people going through the garbage bins and walking away with papers they've taken out of people's bags ... and I don't think they were friendly neighborhood recyclers.