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Suffolk police warn about e-mail scam

Here's a warning from the Suffolk County Police Identity Theft Unit: Don't go phishing.

Police said several county residents have contacted them about e-mails that claim to have been sent by Western Union - and request the recipient click on a hyperlink to provide their credit card verification value number, the three-digit code on the back of a credit card. That is the number often used by retailers who take phone and Internet orders to confirm the card is in the hands of the purchaser.

Police said they do not have indications anyone has fallen victim to this latest scam. But they warn to be wary of "phishing" e-mails.

To help prevent becoming a victim, police recommend:

* Never click on hyperlinks within e-mails;

* Use SPAM filters, anti-virus and firewall software;

* Keep operating systems and Web browsers updated;

*Look for http:// and padlocks on Web sites that request any personal information;

* Educate yourself about Internet scams and frauds;

* Monitor your credit report;

* Remember that merchants and financial institutions will not contact you by telephone or e-mail requesting personal information, so if you are unsure about a request, call the merchant, bank or lender in question and ask for a manager. Do not use the phone number or e-mail address provided in the message received. Obtain it from an independent source.

For additional information about identity theft prevention, contact the police Web site at www.suffolkpd.org and click on the ID Theft Unit link.

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