Phishing emails, by which scammers and identity thieves attempt to lure you into either clicking on links contained within the email which 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 presently circulating that appears to come from Square.  Square is a financial services and digital payments company founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey who also founded Twitter.

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. This is not a particularly convincing phishing email because it comes from an email address that is obviously not an email address of Square; it does not mention your account number; it does not contain a Square logo which would have been easy to duplicate and it does not contain your name.  The salutation is a mere “Hello.”

Here is a copy of the Square phishing email presently being circulated.  I have changed the links.

“Hello, 

I’m reaching out to let you know that we’ve detected some unusual activity on your Square account.  We’ve suspended deposits from your Square account to your bank.  You’ll still be able to process payments using Square in the meantime—however, the funds will just be held in your Square account.  We’d like to encourage you to resolve this, please click the link and follow the instructions to respond :

https.Square*********

If there’s a bit of hold time, you’re welcome to use the callback option so you don’t have to wait. We’ll keep your place in line and give you a call.

Best wishes,
Todd
Square Account Services”

TIPS

There are a number of indications that this is not a legitimate email from Square, but instead is a phishing email. Most notably, the email address from which this phishing email was sent has no relation to Square  Also, as I indicated earlier, there is no Square logo, no mention of your name in the email and no mention of your account number in the email.  Additionally, if you hovered your mouse over the original link provided in the email (which I have removed) you would have seen that the true address of the link is different from the link that appeared to be from Square.   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 website 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 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 Square to trap you if you make a mistake in dialing the real number.  It is important to know that Square will never ask you to provide sensitive information such as your username, password, Social Security number or credit card information through an email, phone call or text message.  If you need to reach Square customer support, you can use this link.  https://squareup.com/help/us/en/contact?panel=44E50F016449

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 has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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