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Recognizing and Reporting Phishing

One of the most common ways malicious actors can access your personal information is through phishing. Phishing is an attempt by a criminal or other malicious actor to trick a user into giving up sensitive information.

Phishing scams can be received in multiple forms, including email, text message, social media, and phone calls. The message might claim that they need you to log in to an account to change a password or update a payment method. The request may claim to be a service you use, a financial institution, or even someone you know, but it is really a trick to get you to reveal your personal information. Some phishing emails will look nearly identical to messages you usually receive from the source, so pay close attention for any discrepancies from messages you usually receive from the source.

If you don’t recognize the sender or if the message seems suspicious, do not click it. Check for any errors or misspelled words in the message, and hover over the URL to make sure it leads to the site should. 

If any message appears urgent and indicates that you must act right away, take a few extra minutes to verify it. Make sure it is from a trustworthy source and verify that the email domain is accurate. If the message was unexpected, contact the sender from a trusted number that was not listed in the email or text message to verify it.

It is important that you do not click any links in the message, including the Unsubscribe option, until you are able to verify that the sender is accurate. Some phishing sites can capture what you type in even if you never hit submit, so it is always best to take a few extra moments to verify a message before mindlessly clicking and providing information.

Michigan residents can also protect against phishing by downloading Michigan Secure, a free mobile protection app. Among its many features that aim to keep you safe in the digital ecosystem, users can check links to see if they are embedded with a phishing attempt. Click with confidence and have peace of mind while using your mobile device by downloading Michigan Secure on the App Store or Google Play