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Phishing scams are one of the fastest growing Internet crimes. Cyber criminals use phishing messages to steal personal information such as usernames and passwords, social security numbers, or credit card numbers. They are also used to install malware on people’s systems. In a typical scam, the cyber criminal sends an email, SMS, or voice message with the intent to impersonate a person or business you know or trust. They want to instill a sense of urgency to provoke an immediate reaction or they may threaten consequences if you fail to respond. They don’t want you to think, they want you to click.

Typical phishing messages ask you to directly reply with sensitive information or have you click a link taking you to a website to collect that sensitive information. The site will usually collect username and password as well as other data like birthrate, employee ID number and Social Security Number. Or, sometimes, the site will install malware on your computer or device that grabs all data you enter into your device.

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