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What is phishing?

Nearly every day, our office hears stories of Kansans whose personal information has ended up in someone else’s hands. In today’s information age, it is easier than ever for identity thieves to get this information.

Our computers contain a significant amount of personal information. Passwords, financial information and other files are often stored on our hard drives and even on the Internet. Identity thieves may try several different methods to gain access to this information.

People on the Internet are not always who they claim to be. In a phishing scam, an identity thief will send you an email pretending to be your bank, credit card company or another place of business. It may tell you that your password has expired and you need to reply to the email with your old password and new password to reset it. Or the email may contain a link that directs you to a website to change your password. The email and website may look official, even containing your bank’s logo. But this is just a scam to gain access to your online banking account.

If you use online banking, always go through your bank’s homepage to access your account. Links in emails cannot always be trusted, even if they look official.

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