It must be phishing season. Phishing emails in which you are lured under the pretense of an emergency to click on a link or download an attachment are an extremely popular tool of scammers who infect the links and attachments with malware that can result in your downloading ransomware or keystroke logging malware that enables a scammer to steal information from your computer or phone and use it to make you a victim of identity theft. Reproduced below is an email that is presently circulating. The email address from which it was sent appears to come from American Express, but it is actually being sent by a scammer. A legitimate email from American Express would include your name and the last few digits of your account number. This phishing email contains neither.
Here is a copy of the email:
“There’s been activity in your American Express account that seems unusual compared to your normal account activities on Tuesday, December 26, 2017
( Please fill all necessary data which is asked in the verification page, it’s important for us to verify you are the true owner )
Read your secure message by opening the attachment (ConfirmationMembership3652.pdf)
you will be prompted to open (Log in Securely) the file or save (download) it to your computer. for best results, save the file first, then open it in a Web browser.
American Express Membership Group.”
Never click on links or download attachments in emails or text messages unless you have absolutely confirmed that they are legitimate. If you receive an email such as this and you have the slightest thought that it might be legitimate, you should call the 800 number on the back of your credit card to confirm that this is a scam. Finally, be careful if you do make the call to your credit card company because in some instances, enterprising scammers will purchase phone numbers that are only a digit off from those of legitimate credit card companies or banks in an effort to snare people who may mistakenly misdial the number when trying to contact their credit card company or bank.