Phishing emails, by which scammers and identity thieves attempt to lure you into either clicking on links contained within the email which download malware or trick you into providing personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft, are nothing new. They are a staple of identity thieves and scammers and with good reason because they work. Reproduced below is a copy of a new phishing email presently circulating that appears to come from Chase Bank. It comes with the heading, “Chase Bank detected suspicious activity.” DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK. Chase is a popular target for this type of phishing email because it is one of the largest banks in the United States. Like so many phishing emails, this one attempts to lure you into responding by making you think there is an emergency to which you must respond. As phishing emails go, this one is not particularly convincing. The email address from which it was sent is that of an individual totally unrelated to Chase and is most likely the address of an email account of someone whose email account was hacked and made a part of a botnet of computers used by scammers to send out phishing emails. Also, the word “now” is incorrectly capitalized. No logo for Chase Bank appears anywhere in the email and, most telling, the email is not directed to you by name and does not contain your account number in the email.
Your online account has been suspended (Reason: the violation of terms of service).
Update and Restore your online account Now
Thank you for using Chase Bank.
Member FDIC © 2016 Chase Bank Financial Corporation. All Rights reserved.
There are a number of indications that this is not a legitimate email from Chase, but instead is a phishing email. Legitimate credit card companies would refer to your specific account number in the email. They also would specifically direct the email to you by your name. This email has no salutation whatsoever. As with all phishing emails, two things can happen if you click on the links provided. Either you will be sent to a legitimate looking, but phony webpage where you will be prompted to input personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft or, even worse, merely by clicking on the link, you may download keystroke logging malware that will steal all of your personal information from your computer or smartphone and use it to make you a victim of identity theft. If you receive an email like this and think it may possibly be legitimate, merely call the customer service number where you can confirm that it is a scam, but make sure that you dial the telephone number correctly because scammers have been known to purchase phone numbers that are just a digit off of the legitimate numbers for financial companies, such as Chase to trap you if you make a mistake in dialing the real number.