Today’s Scam of the day is about a phishing email that purports to be from American Express. The graphics, grammar and overall appearance of the email is not very convincing. In addition, it does not even carry the American Express logo, which is a simple thing to counterfeit.   As always, the purpose of a phishing email is to lure you into clicking on links contained within the email or providing personal information. If you click on the links, you end up downloading malware and if you provide the requested information, it ends up being used to make you a victim of identity theft. This particular email indicates that unauthorized activity was detected on your American Express card and that you must review your account activity by clicking on a link in the email.  Don’t do it!  If you do you will provide your account information to an identity thief.  The phishing email is reproduced below.   One sign that this is a scam is that the email salutation is “Dear Customer” instead of using your name.  Other indications that this is a scam are that the email does not indicate your account number and finally, the email address from which it was sent is not an email address of American Express, but most likely that of someone whose email address was hacked and made a part of a botnet. Here is the phishing email.

 

Dear Customer

There’s been activity in your American Express Online account that seems unusual compared to your normal account activities on.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

For your records, the confirmation number is 0hPsCfpq0Q7q.
For your protection your account is automatically locked until verify your account.
Click Here to Review Online Activity

TIPS

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.

I have disarmed the link in the original phishing email, but if you hovered your mouse over “Click Here to Review Online Activity” in the actual phishing email, you would see that the link would not take you to an American Express related website.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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