Don't click on the link in an email that asks for your personal information. It will take you to a phony Web site that looks just like the Web site of the real company or agency. Following the instructions, you enter your personal information on the Web site – and into the hands of identity thieves.
Use a search engine to find the official Web site.
If you get an email that warns you, with little or no notice, that an account of yours will be shut down unless you reconfirm your billing information, do not reply or click on the link in the email. Instead, contact the company cited in the email using a telephone number or Web site address you know to be genuine.
If someone contacts you and says you’ve been a victim of fraud, verify the person’s identity before you provide any personal information.
Be suspicious if someone contacts you unexpectedly and asks for your personal information. It’s hard to tell whether something is legitimate by looking at an email or a Web site, or talking to someone on the phone. But if you’re contacted out of the blue and asked for your personal information, it’s a warning sign that something is “phishy.” Legitimate companies and agencies don’t operate that way.
Avoid emailing personal and financial information. Before submitting financial information through a Web site, look for the "lock" icon on the browser's status bar. It signals that your information is secure during transmission.
Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges.