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Phishing Emails


Last Edited: May 27, 2007, 12:46 pm

Just a warning!!

I know most of us are savvy enough to realize there are lots of scammers trying to get personal information by sending notices that look very, very real.  Some of them even use my name!  I've received many of these in the past and I never respond, even to the legitimate ones.  I always sign off and then type the URL from my Rolodex in the address box or select from my bookmarks.  This morning I signed on to my email and there was a notice from ABC First Bank** ...or so it seemed.  I was tired and I have a headache. I didn't stop to think I wasn't signed onto the address I use for personal business transactions and account access.  The sender was service@abcfirstbank.com   This wasn't a simple email with a logo, but a picture with a man relaxing at his desk, almost identical to their actual notices.  It appeared to be as far from fraud as one can get, that is, except it was exactly that  ----  FRAUD!

The message said that my account access had been locked because of an incorrect amount. That could mean anything. What threw me is that they not only provided a link, but also a toll free customer service number to call.  Obviously these maggots are sitting by a phone waiting for Mrs. Smith to call and furnish them with the information they're hunting for, unaware that someone plans to steal her identity or go shopping with her credit card number!

Of course I called ABC First, since when I signed onto my account it looked just fine to me.  Nothing was "locked" and my last payment had been processed on time.  The real customer service rep gave me an email so I could forward the notice to the company. I'm sure they get hundreds or even thousands of them every day.

I posted this because, if you knew me, you'd know that I'm one of the most suspicious people around when it comes to the internet and email, but I almost fell for this one!  Just don't ever use a link or even a toll free number provided if you get an email from your bank or credit card company.  Use the number on the back of your card as I did and, if you do use online access, don't use any links sent to you.  Just answering one of these phishing emails lets the sender know you actually do have a credit card and/or bank account or simply that you exist.  A friend has been playing with those scammers who say she's won the lottery and I warned her not to answer them, since now they know that's a valid email address. The best thing is to forward the email to the Fraud Department (I'm not sure if they do anything with it) and delete the email.  If you get a lot of them, change your email address.  As I said before, I created an address I use only for business transactions and use the other for general email.   

**Note:  I made up the name.  If I write Bank of America or Capital One, then I'm contradicting myself by saying not to tell people online what credit cards you use! 




Entry #62


Rick GComment by Rick G - May 28, 2007, 4:15 pm
This is a good post. Someone tried to do it to my bank's account holders. My son fell for it because it looked so genuine. Luckily he was able to close the account and debit card before the scammers could crawl out of their slime hole and make use of the info. This type of crime should be punishable by a mandatory 10 years in prison and should be investigated and prosecuted fervently.

It's time to free those who are incarcerated for victimless crimes and make room for the real maggots of society.
justxploringComment by justxploring - May 28, 2007, 9:56 pm
Thank you for your comment, Rick. I'm glad your son was able to catch it on time. I stopped using my debit card, except at the bank. I requested a plain old ATM card, but they don't exist, so it's also a Visa check card. At least when I use it as a debit card, I need to enter a PIN. When it's used as a Visa, no personal ID number is required. That means I could wake up and find that my checking account has been cleaned out by one of these bottom feeding scavengers. I know they always promise to replace the money, but it's not as easy as it sounds. Fortunately, that has never happened to me.

One big concern I have lately is that, when seeking employment, I have often been required to furnish personal information including a photocopy of my driver's license and social security card. The manager is supposed to look at these forms of ID, not copy them, but most of them do anyway. Another annoyance is all the credit card offers I get in the mail. I know they're legitimate, but the pre-approved "0% fixed APR for 12 months" offers from companies like Chase and Citi include checks for borrowing cash or balance transfers. I keep opting out but then I get back on a list. Last week I received 3 of them, just from Chase. (Disney Card, Chase Freedom, Chase Rewards) I'm a little concerned that someday my mail will wind up in the wrong hands, although it's never happened, thank goodness.
SirMetroComment by SirMetro - June 8, 2007, 8:56 am
Something I have noticed around here. Whenever I go to the movies or stop at the fast food places such as Arbies, they all gladly swipe my debit (bank debit visa) card and because the amount is UNDER $30, no signiture is required and NO pin number is required. So please keep a vigilant check on the where abouts of your plastic, because it's very easy for criminals to have a good time at your expense. There was a recent news cast of a woman who stole the credit cards from another woman and they SHOW her taking her family to the movies. And because she kept the amounts she spent under the $30 window, she never even had to show ID to prove it was her card. She spent nearly $300 in about an hour.

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