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Phishing and Pharming Scams: What to watch for

September 14, 2022
A man looking at his phone.

Phishing and Pharming are two common types of scams that involve tricking people into providing their personal information. Phishing is a scam where you receive fraudulent emails or text messages that appear to be from a familiar organization or company. These often contain links to malicious websites. Pharming is a scamming practice in which malicious code is installed on a personal computer (PC) or server, misdirecting users to fraudulent websites without their knowledge or consent. The aim is for users to input their personal information. The scammer can then capture the data you enter on this site, such as usernames and passwords. In either case, be on the lookout for websites that appear to be legitimate but are actually fraudulent impersonations of real sites.

Here are a few fraudulent text messages our members have received.
Examples of fraudulent texts.

Tips for fraud prevention:

• Never provide your personal information online or over the phone unless you initiated the contact and you know it’s a trustworthy company.

• Contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real instead of following the links in an email or text message.

• Don’t open attachments or click on links if you don’t know the sender or you didn’t request the information.

• Make sure your devices are up to date from a security standpoint and have anti-virus protection installed.

• Look for the “s” in https and the key and lock icon in your browser window to help confirm website legitimacy and proper security.

• Use a unique and more complex username and password combination for online banking; do NOT reuse credentials used on other websites.

• Report a phishing attack, or concern about malicious viruses to the Federal Trade Commission at

Please note that DCU will never solicit confidential information via an outgoing call, text, email, social media message, or voicemail, and we will never ask that this information be entered through a generic web link.

If you receive an email, text, call or social media message from someone claiming to be from DCU or DCU’s Fraud team and you have concerns about the validity, please contact us immediately by calling 800.328.8797.

For more information on how you can protect yourself from different types of fraud and scams, please visit

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as legal, financial, investment or tax advice or indicate that a specific DCU product or service is right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a financial professional.