There is a scam being used by identity thieves called "phishing". Victims are lured with e-mails disguised as official notices, or unexpected phone calls from an illegitimate company or organization asking for personal and financial information like credit card numbers and account data. According to the National Consumers League, phishing is the fourth most common Internet scam.

• If you get an e-mail or pop-up message that asks for personal information, don't respond.

• Don't e-mail personal or financial information. E-mail is not a secure method of transmitting personal information.

• Look for indications that a site you are visiting is secure. Look for a lock icon or an address that begins with "https:" (the "s" stands for secure.)

• Call the organization and ask if the e-mail is legitimate.