Phishing Scams

Jim Giles, a business owner in Longview, checks his e-mail several times a day. Many of the e-mails come from banks.

"It's been going on for some time," he says.

The e-mails say he needs to update his personal information. This one he got this morning came from what appears to be Heritage bank, based in Kilgore and Henderson.

"I mean it looked real," he says-- but it wasn't. It was a phishing scam. A fake e-mail sent by hackers fishing for your personal information so they can steal your identity. The scams are becoming more common and more and more East Texans are falling victim. A recent study found more than 1.7 million Americans have fallen for these fake e-mails.

"They do look very official," says Kay Robinson of the Better Business Bureau. She says there are two ways to protect yourself from the phishing scams:

"Don't go forward until you are certain you are dealing with your own bank," says Robinson.

Second, don't give any personal information like your credit card numbers, driver's licenses, or bank accounts through an e-mail. Only give that information in person or over the phone when speaking directly to your bank. That's advice Jim is following. He's just glad he didn't fall for this latest phishing scam and hopes you don't either.