What is Phishing?

Phishing is an identity-theft scam that can use emails and websites to trick people into giving out personal information, such as credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, or Social Security numbers.

Five Ways To Avoid Falling Victim To A Phishing Scam

Be Suspicious

Always be suspicious of emails asking for sensitive information. Email is not a secure form of communication. Organizations you do business with already know your account information and will never request it in an email. Phishers usually include false statements to create a sense of urgency for information, such as, "Your account will be terminated unless you respond immediately."

Avoid Sending Personal Information

Never respond to an email request for personal information. Err on the side of caution. Look at the “from” field of the email. If the organization name does not match the “reply to” organization name, the message is probably fake. (For example, a message from a local credit union or bank would not have a reply email address ending in yahoo.com.) If you ever need to provide personal information like a credit card number, be sure to use a secure, trusted website. Beware of phone phishing scams. If someone requests personal information on a phone call, be sure you initiated the call not the other way around.

Beware of Phone Phishing Scams

If someone requests personal information on a phone call, be sure you initiated the call not the other way around.

Think Twice Before You Click Links

Never follow the links in an email you suspect might be phishing. If you are unsure about a link you receive in an email, hover your cursor over it. If the link text doesn't match the link address, do NOT click it. Log directly onto the company’s website, or call the company. Ask if the company is legitimately asking for the information in the email.  Note that hovering on links often does not work on mobile devices, so it is best to use a computer when determining the legitimacy of an email ignore the email until you can get to a computer to verify.

Keep Your Software Updated

Make sure your operating system, antivirus software, and browser are up to date. Malware exploits vulnerabilities in the security of operating systems (such as Windows, iOS, macOS, iPadOS, and chromeOS) as well as web browsers (such as Internet Explorer, FireFox, Google Chrome, etc.). Be sure you have the latest security updates installed on your device.

Think you received a phishing scam?

Trust your gut. If it seems off, it probably is. If you received a phishing message, but aren't sure, take action and report the phishing message:

Using the Phishing Alert Button in Outlook


Forward the phishing message to