ABILENE, Texas — We all get hundreds of emails everyday and notifications from social media.
It can be easy to overlook the legitimacy of what’s in our inbox.
Identity theft cost Americans $43 billion last year. Victims of these scams lost $1,100 on average due to phishing. According to First Financial Bank Chief Risk Officer Randy Roewe, this type of crime leans on people who are not always tech savvy.
"Phishing is where a fraudster tries to entice the person to click fraudulent email to disclose sensitive personal information, either name, address, social security number, date of birth, or anything they can use to permit or steal money,” he said.
Roewe says most scammers depend on this type of crime out of survival.
"There are people in this world who go to work every day to defraud other people,” he said. “This is their job. Their job is to scam other people. They live in the United States. They live all over the country. All over the world. North Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Nigeria anywhere there's people, there's gonna be fraudsters and that's what they do for a living. A lot of them come from abject poverty and so we in the United States don't understand why they do this it’s either this or they starve.”
To avoid phishing and other scams during the holidays, always second guess what’s being sent to your personal email.
“In order to protect yourself, you always have to be skeptical,” Roewe said. “Every single email that comes in, you need to think ‘does this make sense?’ Did I order a TV from Amazon.com for example. Did I order a TV from an online retailer? If you don’t think you did, don’t respond to the email. Pick the phone up. Go online find out what the real 800 number is, and call them.”
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