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Email spam with phone numbers asking for your credit card number

A friend of mine became a victim of this and so I post this warning here.

The latest trick used by identity thieves consists of spam emails that warns the recipient that their credit union or bank or paypal account have been compromised. While typical phishing emails will direct the victim to a web site, there is no web address in these emails. Instead they provide a phone number to verify account details.

Once you call this phone number, the computer voice message says:

"Welcome to account verification. Please type your 16-digit card number."

Of course this computer voice will not mention your specific bank's/ credit union's name as it does not know anything about your identiy yet. Their goal is to get your credit card number.

What to do for your protection:

  • Never call any phone number that you found in a spam email. If you were too curious and still called, then certainly do not enter in any private information. If you want to call your bank, use their regular phone number which is probably printed on the back of your ATM card or credit card.
  • Never click on the link provided in an email you believe is fraudulent.
  • Do not open an attachment to an unsolicited email unless you have verified the source.
  • Do not be intimidated by an email or caller who suggest dire consequences if you do not immediately provide or verify information.
  • If you believe the contact is legitimate, go to the company's web site by typing in the site address directly or using a page you have previously book marked, instead of a link provided in the email.
  • Use the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) web site, Consumers can take interactive quizzes designed to enlighten them about identity theft, phishing, spam and online-shopping scams. Elsewhere on the site, consumers can find detailed guidance on how to monitor their credit histories, use effective passwords and recover from identity theft.

Generated 8:00:59 on Sep 22, 2020