Email Fraud Awareness
One of the most important aspects of running a business is data security – both yours and that of your customers. Enormous progress has been made by payment processing providers in creating state-of-the-art security systems to keep data safe. Unfortunately, the data thieves out to steal your confidential information have their own high-tech methods that you should know about.
One often-used technique is known as phishing, that is a type of email fraud which involves attempts to steal confidential information from you directly. It involves phony email messages sent by cyber criminals with the intent of stealing personal and financial information. It is part of a larger technology trend known as “social engineering” – and it is a crime.
Phishers use technology that makes it appear as if you are being taken to a legitimate company website after you click on a link in a fraudulent email. That is why you must be cautious of links or attachments located within unsolicited or suspicious emails. Once you click, you are typically asked to enter personal information – but this information is not going to the company, it is going straight to the cyber criminal.
There are many methods of using the Internet to fraudulently obtain your personal information. Remember the following guidelines to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of fraud and identity theft:
- Don’t reply to an email, text or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, and don’t click on the links in the message.
- Don’t open an email attachment even if it appears that it is from a friend or coworker unless you are expecting it or know exactly what it contains.
- Don’t respond if you get a message by email, text, pop-up or phone that asks you to call a phone number to update your account or give your personal information to access a refund. Any request should be made in writing.
If you ever have any question as to whether an email is legitimate, please do not click on any links within it – just contact your Merchant Express® merchant services representative and we’ll be happy to help.