Phishing emails, by which scammers and identity thieves attempt to lure you into either clicking on links contained within the email that 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. The Capital One phishing email reproduced below uses the common ploy of indicating that the bank needs you to update personal information for security purposes. As phishing emails go, this one is not too bad, but it does have some telltale flaws. Although the email address from which it was sent appears to be legitimate, upon closer examination you can determine it is not an official email address of Capital One. Also, the email is not directed to you by name and does not contain your account number in the email.
Obviously if you do not have an account with Capital One bank, you know that this is a phishing scam, but even if you do have an account with this bank, there are a number of indications that this is not a legitimate email from Capital One, but instead is a phishing email. Legitimate banks would refer to your specific account number in the email. They also would 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 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 for your bank 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 Capital One to trap you if you make a mistake in dialing the real number.
DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINKS IN THE PHISHING EMAIL REPRODUCED BELOW
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