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 scammers and with good reason because they work. Reproduced below is a copy of a new phishing email that is presently circulating that appears to come from Chase bank. 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. 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. The grammar and spelling is good, but as so often is the case, the email is not directed to you by name and does not contain your account number in the email. It carries a legitimate looking Chase logo, but that is easy to counterfeit.
Dear Chase OnlineSM Customer,
Please confirm that you or someone authorized to use your account made
the following transaction(s) on your account:
Your online account will be fully restored and protected after the verification process.
Thank you for being a valued customer.
Customer Service Center.
JPMorgan Chase & Co ©2016
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 not use the generic greeting “Dear Chase OnlineSM Customer,” but would rather specifically direct the email to you by your name. 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 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, 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.