Phishing emails, by which scammers and identity thieves attempt to lure you into either clicking on links contained within the email which will 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 with good reason because they work. Here is a copy of a new phishing email that appears to come from Wells Fargo that is presently circulating. It came carrying the Wells Fargo logo, but that is easy to counterfeit. DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK. 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.
“Please validate your Bank information now
Simply sign on to your account at wellsfargoadvisors.com and follow the instructions to enter your 6 digit validation code. Entering the code below will validate this email address.
There are a number of indications that this is not a legitimate email from Wells Fargo, but instead is a phishing email. The email address from which it was sent has nothing to do with Wells Fargo, but most likely was from a hacked email account that is a part of a botnet of computers controlled remotely by the scammer. In addition, legitimate credit card companies would refer to your specific account number in the email. In addition, nowhere does the name of the recipient appear in the email nor does an account number appear. 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 will download keystroke logging malware that will steal all of your personal information from your computer 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 on the back of your credit card where you can confirm that it is a scam and 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 Wells Fargo to trap you if you make a mistake in dialing the real number.