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COH warning re: Online Scams

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HITS Warns Citizens Against Online Scams

The City of Houston Information Technology Services (HITS) wants to inform the public how to recognize and avoid phishing, which is an attempt to acquire information such as user names, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity.

When using email, it is difficult to know with whom you are communicating. Scammers will utilize this uncertainty to pose as legitimate businesses, organizations or individuals and gain the trust of users. If scammers are able to gain the trust of victims, they can leverage this trust to convince victims to willingly give up information or click on malicious links or attachments. To gain user trust, scammers will appear like legitimate businesses or organizations, by spoofing the email address, creating a fake website with legitimate logos and even providing phone numbers as well as illegitimate customer service centers operated by the scammers.

Being mindful and observant can help you defend against scammers' deceptions by being prepared and proactive. Visit http://www.houstontx.gov/citizensnet/esn-2013april.pdf for details on how to avoid becoming a potential victim of computer crimes through online scams.

To learn more about HITS, visit http://www.houstontx.gov/hits.

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