Avoid phishing expeditions.  Phishing is when Internet fraudsters impersonate a business to trick you into giving out your personal information.  They may send you an email or text, or give you a link to click on—do not reply, click, or call their telephone numbers…unless you are not fond of your identity and care nothing for your credit score.

Have you ever received a message like one of these:

“We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account.  To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity.”

“During our regular verification of accounts, we could not verify your information.  Please click here to update and verify your information.”

“Our records indicate that your account was overcharged.  You must call us within 7 days to receive your refund.”

If yes, then welcome to the human race.  Often the messages look legitimate, seeming to come from companies with which you do business, but legitimate companies do not ask for personal or financial information like credit card and bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords, etc. via email or text.

If you are concerned about your account, contact the bank or company via the telephone number on your financial statement or on the back of your credit card.