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February 19, 2010

  • Phishing; Safeguarding Against Email Scams, Pt.2
      Never, Never, Never!

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    Recognizing the characteristics of email scams is the first step. It is also important to know that cybercriminals are continuously working on new ways to steal credit card information. A popular email scam involves contractors. A reputable fencing company in North Carolina reported receiving several emails from individuals asking for material quotes for a rather large job. After the contractor provided the quote, the email respondent provided a credit card number and foreign shipping address. The contractor became suspicious and notified Visa inquiring about the validity of the credit card. After some investigation, it turned out the card information had been stolen and the cybercriminal had intentions of selling the merchandise. An investigation continues as authorities attempt to trace the email.

    Consumers have the responsibility of understanding that email scams have become a very popular method of stealing personal information. Knowing the characteristics of such scams and knowing that banks and credit card companies never ask customers for personal information in an email. Visa offers several recommendations on safeguarding against credit card fraud.

    Never write down and carry around personal numbers; memorize them.
    Never share credit card security codes with anyone.
    Choose passwords that do not contain predictable names or numbers including phone numbers, addresses, birthdates, children's names, maiden names etc.
    When making purchases, only sign the credit card receipt.
    Keep tabs on your card; don't leave them behind after making purchases and verify you have the correct card.
    Verify that the transaction amount matches the receipt prior to signing.
    It is your responsibility to be aware of others who may have access to the card.
    If you lose your debit or credit card, immediately contact your bank.

    Don't wait until your credit card information has been compromised. Take the time to educate yourself on phishing and email scams to safeguard your sensitive information and prevent cybercriminals from making you the next victim.

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