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 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. I have taken out the name of the addressee, but it was directed to the email address of the person receiving the email. I also have removed the link directing the person to click on to receive an important security message. 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 pretty good. It looks legitimate. However, 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. As so often is the case with these type of phishing emails, it does not contain your account number in the email. It carries a legitimate looking Chase logo, but that is easy to counterfeit.
You have 1 new Security message From Chase Online Bank.
Click your email here to view the message *****************
As this e-mail is an automated message, we can’t reply to any e-mails sent by return.
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC
©2016 JPMorgan Chase & Co
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 direct the email to you by name rather than directing it to your email address. 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 buy 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.