Phishing is a type of fraud that uses email and texts to direct you to fraudulent (but very official-looking) websites. The email tries to convince you to click a link to the site and enter your confidential information, which will then be used for criminal purposes.
Phishing attack methods are constantly evolving. Instead of email, newer variations may use automated or live phone calls or even text messages to your cell phone to reach you, and might direct you to call an electronic phone system to gather the data.
Alaska USA will never call, email, or text its members to request confidential information.
Phishing messages try to induce you into revealing your account information in many different ways, including:
There are usually a number of visual clues you can use to further identify a fraudulent email message.
Fraudulent email messages take many forms. The content of the messages varies, but typically includes a link to a website asking for confidential information. Some versions include a phone number to call that connects the member to a voice mail system to gather the data.
Cell phone users may receive unsolicited text messages claiming their account has been suspended. They are directed to call a number provided in the message where confidential information will be collected for fraudulent purposes. Unsolicited text messages should be immediately deleted without responding.
In this phishing variant, a malicious program is hidden in an innocent-seeming message. A program hidden like this is called malware, more commonly referred to as a “Trojan horse.”
In one example, executives and managers are targeted by an email claiming to be from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The email poses as a complaint notice filed against the company. When the link is clicked to see “complaint details,” a program is downloaded that attempts to steal information from their computer.
In another example, executives and managers are sent an email with a file labeled “invoice” or “fax.” Once opened, the file downloads malware that lays dormant within the computer until a targeted banking website is visited. When a user logs into the website, the malware sends the login credentials to the thieves. The malware may also display an error message, prompting the user to contact a phone number controlled by the fraudsters. The caller is then informed that the issue will be resolved within a certain amount of time, during which the thieves will log into the account and initiate wire transfers while the user waits for the allotted time to pass.
Don't click that link! If you do not respond to a phishing email, you won't compromise your confidential information. Instead, forward the message to . Alaska USA will never request confidential or account information by email or phone unless the transaction is member initiated.
Additional steps to protect yourself:
Call the Member Service Center right away to speak with a Member Service Representative about the kind of information that was revealed.
Remember: Alaska USA will never call or email its members to request confidential information.
Forward suspicious emails to
FTC Consumer Alert How to Avoid Getting Hooked by a Phishing Scam
Internet Crime Complaint Center An FBI partnership created to receive compliants about internet fraud.
FTC - Internet Consumer Information Internet related consumer protection information from the Federal Trade Commission