E-mail fraud is a common tool of an identity thief. It can take many forms, but is usually harsh, demanding and scary. Here are some examples:
- Phishing scams now have a phone connection:
- First, it was "phishing," where criminals send e-mail by the thousands in hopes of tricking unsuspecting consumers into sharing confidential information. These messages often include a link to a fraudulent website.
- Now, there’s “vishing.” In this latest twist, they use a telephone number instead. When you call, a person or an automated response asks for your personal and/or account information.
Don't fall for it!
When you call your bank, use only a phone number that comes from a reputable source, like your statement, the back of your credit or debit card or the phonebook.
- Phishing (pronounced "fishing") is where the sender poses as a company to trick users into giving away personal or account information.
- Illegitimate offers are e-mails that entice users to purchase popular goods or services at reduced prices (or before they're available to the general public), with no intent to deliver those purchases. Usually, these e-mails are designed primarily to obtain credit card or bank account information.
- Requests for help usually offer a recipient large sums of money or attractive rewards in exchange for "short term" financial assistance. One common example is the “sender” who asks the user to supply a bank account number to "hold" large sums of money until the “sender” can retrieve it. In exchange, the recipient is promised a percentage of the deposit. The “sender” uses the bank account number for fraudulent activity, and the recipient never receives the promised funds.
Go to Reporting Fraud to find out what to do if you’ve received or responded to a suspicious e-mail, or to review our list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).