The word phishing comes from the analogy that Internet scammers are using email lures to ‘fish’ for passwords and financial data from the sea of Internet users.
Phishing, also called “brand spoofing”; is the creation of email messages and Web pages that are replicas of existing, legitimate sites and businesses. These Web sites and emails are used to trick users into submitting personal, financial, or password data. These emails often ask for information such as credit card numbers, bank account information, social insurance numbers, and passwords that will be used to commit fraud.
The goal of criminals using brand spoofing is to lead consumers to believe that a request for information is coming from a legitimate company. In reality it is a malicious attempt to collect customer information for the purpose of committing fraud.
Often these ‘phishing’ emails will contain spelling errors or ask you to respond to a web browser account with a hotmail, gmail, or yahoo email account which are sure signs the email is fraudulent.
Do not respond to any emails requesting personal or financial information and never give out your password online. If you have any questions about the email you have received please contact your local financial institution and ask questions about it before responding.