The most effective scams are, of course, the scams that most closely resemble real business transactions.  I recently received an email which is copied below that purported to be from VISA indicating that I could activate a free Visa Security Program merely by enrolling through providing information in an attached form.  The phony email also mentions a legitimate VISA security program entitled “Verified by Visa” as a way of making the recipient of the email trust the email even more.  However, don’t trust the email and don’t download the form and provide the information requested.  If you do provide the information requested all that will happen is that you will end up providing information to an identity thief who will indeed use that information to steal your identity.


If you are interested in the extra security program that VISA provides click on this link (which you can trust) to go to VISA’s webpage for directions to enroll.

Whenever you receive such an email that may interest you, you must remember that you never can be sure of the source of any email.  If you are interested and think that the email may be legitimate, go directly on your own to the company’s website.  Don’t go to the website through a click on a link in the email because you can’t trust it.

Here is a copy of the email that I received:

“You can learn about the other ways Visa is committed to ensuring your safety by
activation the Visa Security Program.
1. Visa monitors for unusual activity Visa’s fraud-screening solutions constantly scan for suspicious activity and will alert your financial institution to questionable transactions.
2. Charges may be put on hold To safeguard your security, your financial institution may temporarily put suspicious charges on hold.
3. You will be notified as soon as possible Visa works with your financial institution to notify you as soon as possible to verify the legitimacy of questionable charges.
Important: In addition to our other ways of preventing, detecting, and resolving fraud, we offer Verified by Visa, a free, simple-to-use service that confirms your identity with an extra password when you make an online transaction.
Actively monitoring the activity on your account to protect from fraud, you need to activate Visa Security Program.
To activate the program, you need to download and fill the registration form that we sent in this email.
© Copyright 1996-2012 Visa. All Rights Reserved.”