Don't become a victim of "phishing"

By Sherea Harris

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says "phishing" scams are on the rise.

The sheriff's office urges Internet users to watch for certain emails in their inbox.     

Authorities are working several of these cases a week.  

"Phishing" is when a criminal uses a fake email to get personal information from you to steal your identity.

"Phishing" is not a new scam, yet it's happening more often in Jefferson County.

You'll get an email with a company or bank logo on it requesting personal information like your name, social security number, or account information.

Scammers can also contact you by phone. It happened to Scott Butcher. Someone called him to say there was a problem with his credit card.

"We are having problems with your credit card......and they ask me personal security number, first and last name," said Scott Butcher.

"Banks, stores, credit card companies, they don't just pop something up on your computer asking for personal information," said Randy Christian, Chief Deputy with Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.  "That's a scam 100 percent of time."

Scams like this originate overseas. So it's tough for authorities to catch the people behind them.

If you get one of these emails don't reply, just delete it.

Authorities want you to report it to the Federal Trade Commission By calling 1-877-438-4338.

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