Footprints Public Solution #71546  Updated March 2016

Phishing is a scam where Internet fraudsters send email messages in an attempt to gain personal and often financial information. Messages often will appear to be from legitimate businesses and are official looking. If the message recipient responds, the provided personal and financial information is used to gain account access or steal identity.

Be suspicious of requests asking you to provide personal information. Do not share PINS or passwords, even problem solvers do not need this information to help you.

Good practices include:

  • If you receive an email message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply or click on any links in the message.
  • Mark the email as spam using the webmail interface. This can be done by logging in at, putting a check mark next to the phishing email, and then click the Report Spam button near the top of the website.
  • Be cautious about opening any attachments or downloading any files you receive, regardless of who sent them.
  • Report phishing incidents to the company impersonated in the email and also to or forward phishing emails to

  • If you feel you have been scammed, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at and visit the FTC's Identity Theft website at to take steps to minimize your risk.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group, a consortium of ISPs, security vendors, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies, uses these reports to fight phishing.