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February 19, 2010

  • Phishing; Safeguarding Against Email Scams, Pt.1
      Recognizing the characteristics.

    Email scams have become a daily concern as more and more complaints are received by the authorities by individuals who say their personal and credit card information was stolen. Typically, the email will tell the individual that they need to update their account information. The email provides a bogus link that takes the individual to a site that resembles their credit card company or bank's site. The individual is instructed to sign into his account. The bogus site is programmed to capture credit card account numbers and passwords which the thief then uses to access the individual's credit and funds. Within hours, thieves can top off the credit limit of cards and drain bank accounts dry. Email scams have been a major concern for Visa. The company wants to provide consumers with the knowledge needed to safeguard themselves against these scams. The process used to describe email scams is called "phishing."

    How can you recognize an email scam? Email scams have several characteristics that make them easier to detect. Visa details them as follows:

    The main goal of a phishing site is get information. Therefore, it always asks for personal or credit card information.
    Phishing email scams typically express urgency. It will say it is critical that you immediately log in to your bank or credit card account to avoid some traumatic consequence.
    The email will always provide the link that will take you to its bogus site where you are asked to either log in to your account, fill out a form, or open an attachment.
    The emails are typically not personalized and will usually begin with "Dear Customer" rather than your given credit card account name.
    Because many of these emails come from countries overseas, the thieves are not usually efficient in English grammar. Therefore, the email will contain misspelled words and improper grammar.

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