This summer I've seen a couple kinds of fish — the ones at the lake nibbling my toes as I swim, and the phish that have arrived in my inbox and through my cell phone. Neither is fun, but the latter can be really damaging to your identity.
Phishing is something you may already be familiar with. (No, I don't mean these guys. ) Chances are you get a fair share of spam email, but phish emails ask you to reveal personal information. They're sometimes under the guise of your financial institution or an online retailer where you've used a credit card.
I got a text message (sometimes called smishing ) asking me to verify my PIN at a bank in my college town (my cell phone number is still from there). While I don't have an account there and realized something fishy was going on, phishers count on hitting a certain number of people who do and might fall for their scam.
So how do you protect yourself? First off, always be leery of any communication asking for your personal information. And check out this information from Wells Fargo. You can see examples of phish and learn how to report it. If you're looking for more information on protecting your identity, head over to the Fraud Information Center.
Have you ever been "hooked" by phishing?