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Phishing is a common trick bad guys use to "fish" for consumers’ financial information and password data using fake company emails and web sites. The sites ask consumers to enter current financial and personal information such as user IDs, Social Security numbers, bank or credit card account numbers and ATM passwords.


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This is the text, or SMS messaging, counterpart to phishing. In a similar fashion, bad guys text consumers, directing them to counterfeit websites in an attempt to get their personal information.


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Spoofing is when your caller ID displays a phone number that is not the actual number of the person calling you. Bad guys may use numbers you may recognize to try to get you to answer the phone. They may trick caller ID to show a company phone number, a number like yours or even your own number. Their goal is to make you think it’s legitimate, so you answer the phone, or text, opening the door for their scam.


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Slamming and Cramming

These types of fraud both involve unauthorized changes to customers’ phone service. Scammers will call and misrepresent themselves to customers and ask questions about their account information.


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International Area Code Scam

In this scam, consumers usually receive a message telling them to call a phone number with an 809, 284 or 876 area code in order to collect a prize or find out information about a sick relative. The area code is actually for a number outside the United States, often in Canada or the Caribbean, which charges the customer for placing the call.


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Email Viruses, Worms and Malware

Viruses, worms and malware are computer programs that may arrive in an email attachment and can be destructive to computers. Bad guys can hide these things in attachments or web links, activating as soon as the customer opens the file.



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