Get help with your phishing and fraud questions

In a previous blog entry we asked you to contact us if you’ve experienced online fraud or phishing. We received several questions from people who weren’t sure if the e-mail messages they’d received were phishing scams.


Although we can’t respond directly to every message, we wanted to address a few of your concerns here.


Also, we’re still looking for stories from people who’ve had their identity stolen by an online criminal. So, use the Email link above this entry to tell us your story.



What are phishing scams?

Phishing scams are fraudulent e-mails or Web sites that try to fool you into filling out forms that could be used to steal your personal or financial information or account passwords. For more information on phishing scams, see Recognize phishing scams and fraudulent e-mails.


How can I tell if an e-mail is a phishing scam?

Phishing e-mails often include official-looking logos from real organizations and other identifying information taken directly from legitimate Web sites. They might also contain the following common phrases:


·          “Verify your account.”

·          “Dear Valued Customer.”

·          “During regular account maintenance…”


For more information see, Recognize phishing scams and fraudulent e-mails.


What should I do if I receive a phishing scam?

If you think you’ve received a phishing scam, delete the e-mail. Do not click any links in the message. For more information, see How to handle suspicious e-mail.



Where can I get more information about phishing?

Please see the following:


·          What to do if you’ve responded to a phishing scam

·          Phishing Filter: Help protect yourself from online scams

·          What is social engineering?

·          Stay safe from scams and frauds (from

·          Fighting back against identity theft (from the Federal Trade Commission)



About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »