Scam artists are always on the lookout for inventive ways to steal money. Today, one of the most common methods they use is called ‘Phishing.’ It’s a very effective scam because, unlike other types of fraud, it doesn’t involve having to hack into a computer or crack someone’s password. The reason it is so effective is simple: The victim willingly hands the criminal their information.
So how does phishing work? To be effective, criminals will send messages out to thousands, even millions of potential victims. Using email, text messages… even social media messages, fraudsters will send messages that are designed specifically to entice people to send them money or give them their financial information.
Here are a couple of examples of Phishing that have been common:
Yourbank100: You’re eligible for an account credit! Click here to login and claim your money!
From: Your Bank
Subject: Your account has been compromised!
We are writing to inform you that your account may have been compromised. You need to change your password. To secure your account, click here and enter your login information.
To make sure you stay clear of these scams, follow the tips below.
Tips to Avoid Scams
Things you should do:
- Always make sure that you know the source of any email or message you receive. When in doubt, contact the company directly.
- Remember, most reputable companies (including NetSpend) will not contact you unsolicited and ask you for your information.
- Make sure you have anti-virus software installed on your computer and keep it updated. This will help protect you against emails that install malicious software on your machine.
- Monitor your account for suspicious activity: The best way to prevent identity theft damage is to catch suspicious activity early. We recommend logging into your NetSpend Online Account Center frequently to verify that all transactions you see there are legitimate.
- If you ever see anything suspicious regarding your NetSpend account, report it to us immediately!
NetSpend will not email or text you to ask for your card number, PIN, social security number, online username or password. If you get a call you did not request, hang up and call the number on the back of your card and report it to us.
- If you receive a suspicious email, please forward the entire email to email@example.com. Please forward the email, rather than cutting and pasting the content of the email, so that NetSpend may review valuable tracking information about the email’s source. If you receive a text message requesting personal information, call the number on the back of your card and report the communication to us before deleting the text message. Do not click on links within an email or text message and do not disclose any personal or account information in response to a suspicious email or text message.
By taking a little care, and being cautious of any messages you receive, you can protect yourself – and your money – from being lost.