Jeff Warren is the Information Systems Manager at Citizens First Bank in Bowling Green. He has seen firsthand what phishing Emails look like.
Warren says, "Basically all it said was please verify your information. We're updating our records. It provided a link to click on and it took you to a Web site that looks just like it."
In 2003 Kentucky's levels of identity theft were higher than the rest of the nation's. But there are some things to watch out for.
Craig Browning is with U.S. Bank. He says, "Any time an Email asks you to confirm or verify personal information such as account number, PIN numbers, generally are going to be fraudulent. So do not respond to any Email that asks for such important personal information."
In Kentucky, Bowling Green ranks third in the number of identity theft cases. But the phishing scam is becoming more and more popular locally, as Christi Pruitt found out. Pruitt is a vice president of accounting and controller at CHC.
Pruitt says, "A couple of weeks ago I received an Email with a company that I have a banking relationship with. The Email indicated that their clients had recently been targeted for fraudulent activity. And they requested that I sign on and confirm my banking relationship with them."
Luckily, Pruitt realized that she had never given that company any of her personal information and they shouldn't have Emailed her at work.
Pruitt says, "Hook, line, and sinker. I could have been drawn in very easily. But I have a professional ability to recognize something that was probably fraudulent."
Pruitt reported that Email and found out it was indeed a phishing scam. Here's what the government recommends if you get a suspicious Email. Never reply in the link provided in the Email. Always go to the Web address for the bank or company and verify the information in the suspicious Email.