In the wake of recent data compromises, we have seen a tremendous increase in phishing scams. As you know, phishing refers to criminal activity that attempts to fraudulently obtain sensitive information, such as social security number, driver's license, credit card information or bank account information. Sometimes a scam artist will first send a benign email and then follow that up with a phishing email that usually contains a malicious link. Cyber-criminals have typically used emails to launch this type of attack, but with the widespread use of social media networks and smartphones with internet access, the types of attacks are multiplying.
We know that customer education is the first line of defense against these scams and have compiled the following tips and resources to help in this education process.
- Never respond to any email that directs you to update your personal information by dialing a telephone number. Only use the customer service number on the back of your card or located on our website.
- If a phishing email references a telephone number that you suspect to be related to a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) scam, please report the number to your local federal law enforcement agency. Most agencies now have cyber threat units that are well-versed in investigating these claims.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – Contacting the FTC directly has historically been the most effective means of shutting down a phishing phone number. The FTC is available at www.ftc.gov or 888.382.1222.
- Visa Clients – Visa also has resources who are available to assist financial institutions submit claims for this type of activity. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to the Visa Fraud department at 650.432.2978. Additional information can also be found at www.visa.com/phishing/
- MasterCard Clients – You can send an email to email@example.com or reach out the MasterCard Fraud Department at 636.722.4100 who can assist submitting a claim. Additional information can be also be found at http://www.mastercard.us/support/fraud-and-security.html
As always, feel free to contact us directly at United with any questions you might have. We’re available at 517.423.8373, option 2 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.