Online Threats: Email Fraud/Phishing Scams
Email fraud, or "phishing," involves emails that appear to be from a legitimate source, but are a criminal attempt to obtaining private information such as usernames, passwords, Social Security numbers and account information. It is important to remember that the Department of State Treasurer does not request or send personal information, such as Social Security numbers, via email, as email is not a secure method of communication.
By obtaining personal information, such as a Social Security numbers or credit card information, a thief can commit fraudulent acts (such as creating new accounts) using the unknowing victim's name.
How to protect yourself:
- Consider security software that detects and block phishing sites.
- Do not send sensitive information via email.
- It is strongly advised that you do not use a public computer when accessing your personal accounts or conducting online transactions that require you to enter private information.
- Don’t use passwords that would be easy for someone to figure out, such as your pet’s name, your child’s name or the word "password."
- Make sure you are on a secure website when providing personal information online. Look at the browser address bar and make sure it contains https://.
- Make sure you have antivirus/spyware software on your computer that is up to date.
- Never click on links embedded in email that appears to be from a financial institution.
- Never open attachments from emails where you do not recognize the name of the sender.
How to report phishing attempts:
Should you fall victim to a phishing scam involving the North Carolina Department of Treasurer, please report to us by emailing DSTSecurity@nctreasurer.com or by calling us at 1-877-NCSECURE (1-877-627-3287, toll-free) or 919-807-3050 (within local calling distance) as soon as possible.