Posts Tagged: ‘bank of america phishing’

Scam of the day – July 4, 2013 – Customer satisfaction survey scam

July 4, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

This scam starts innocently enough when you receive an email asking you to fill out a customer satisfaction survey for a major company, such as Bank of America.   In return for completing the survey you are promised a valuable gift card.    After a few appropriate questions, however, the survey asks for some personal information from you such as your credit card number, or your Social Security number.  This is where the identity theft begins.  Even though the email with the survey appears to be legitimate and even carries the logo of a legitimate company, the truth is that the logo is counterfeit and the email is not from a legitimate company, but rather from an identity thief who is merely trying to lure you into providing information such as your credit card number or Social Security number in order to make you a victim of identity theft through a technique called phishing, whereby the identity theft tricks you into providing information by posing as a legitimate company.


No legitimate survey requires personal information from you of a nature such as your credit card numbers or Social Security number that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  You should never provide such personal information in response to any email because you can never be sure that the email is legitimate.  If you are every asked for such information and even if it appears to be a legitimate request, you should check out the legitimacy of the email request by calling the company or governmental agency at a number that you know is accurate to confirm whether or not the request is indeed legitimate.  You can also Google the company doing the survey and add the word “scam” to your Google search to see what comes up as well.  Finally, as I have warned you many times before, you should never click on links in emails you receive until you have confirmed that they are legitimate.  Otherwise you run the risk of downloading a keystroke logging malware program that can steal all of the information from your computer and make you a victim of identity theft.

Scam of the day – January 7, 2013 – Most dangerous websites

January 7, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Phishing is the name of the scam whereby you are lured to a phony website that appears to be legitimate, however when you click on links in these phony websites, download material from these websites or provide information to these websites, you put yourself in danger of identity theft or of downloading dangerous keystroke logging malware that can steal all of the information on your computer including credit card numbers, your Social Security number, passwords and various account information.  In addition, you may unwittingly have your computer taken over as a part of a botnet (for more information about botnets, check out other postings on or in “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age”) whereby your computer is made part of the botnet circulating scams around the world.


Recently Trend Micro issued a list of the most common websites that were the subjects of phony phishing websites during the past month.  The top ten websites of which you should be particularly wary of to make sure that you are dealing with the legitimate company are:  PayPal, Wells Fargo, Visa, Citibank, Bank of America, Aol, Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail and Mastercard.  Things to look out for to avoid phishing websites are when you are directed to a website through an email that does not refer to you by name or if the email contains spelling errors or poor grammar that may indicate the email is coming from a foreign scammer (or a poorly educated American scammer).  A good rule to follow is to not click on links in emails or text messages to go to a website.  If you consider the email or message worth following up on, go to the website of the legitimate company by typing the URL that you know is correct into your browser.