What’s old is new again. Scammers have turned to old methods to try to get around the built-in security of the new EMV cards by using email and fake bank notices — a tried-and-true con that is as old as the Internet itself. These “new” types of phishing practices use the same logos, web addresses, language and more to look like a legitimate email from your financial institution.
"So now they're sending much more legitimate emails. It's hard to tell that they're fake. They often fake an email address, so it looks like it's from your bank. They use graphics from your bank. It looks very legit then state that, 'You need to update your information. Your card is on the way, but before it can take effect we need your personal and banking information to be updated'," said Smyre.
Another scam with a similar look and feel asks you to click on a link in the email to complete a request for a new EMV card. The goal is for you to click on the link and by doing so download a keystroke logging malware that can steal personal information from your computer.
CNET has put together a few tips on how to spot phishing emails. Though mostly common sense, these tips can be a helpful reminder when going through your email:
- If the email address you received the questionable email at is not the one connected to the service or account (eBay, iTunes, credit cards, etc.) it must be a phishing email.
- Be on the lookout for bad grammar and spelling — both dead giveaways for phishing emails.
- If there is something missing, like a salutation, it should raise a red flag. Your bank or any other legitimate company wouldn’t omit anything like that.
- Did you even request what’s in the email? If so, contact your financial institution or service company to check the validity of the email. If you didn’t, again contact the company listed in the email to let them know there is a phishing email going out to their customers.
In any scam, education and intuition are your best defense. If you feel uneasy about an email you received, pick up the phone and call the company contacting you. Don’t be part of the 10 percent of people who fall for scams like this.