This is one of the biggest identity theft scams around. Pfishers use bogus web sites and emails to trick you into reveling your logins, passwords, social security numbers, and any other information they can use to access your accounts. You've probably already seen the emails. They look like they come from eBay, Microsoft, PayPal, your bank, or your credit card company. If you click on the link in the email it'll bring you to a site that looks legitimate, but is just a front for getting at your personal information. Please remember that no company you do business with will email you asking for that kind of information. If you're not sure, contact the company and ask them about it--but don't use the links that were sent in the suspicious email, call them directly. In most instances, the company will ask you to forward the email to them so they can try to locate the source and shut it down.
If you do get one of these fraudulent emails, you can contact the Internet Fraud Complaint Center to report it. This organization partners with the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center to handle just this kind of threat. And if you've already fallen victim to one of these scams, contact the police, your bank and the three major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax at 800-525-6285, Experian at 888-397-3742 and TransUnion at 800-680-7289) right away to minimize the damage.
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