Verizon recently sent out a phishing warning to many of its customers.
Recent phishing email has gone out with the Verizon logo and a link that LOOKS like a legitimate link. However, when you follow the link you go to a “pharming” site–a web site designed to harvest your personal information for criminal purposes–in this case, your bank account or credit card information.
After including an image of one of the recent scams, Verizon provided some very sound advice and announced a change in their policy (Emphasis added.):
To avoid getting hooked by such bogus emails, here are some tips to help safeguard your personal information:
- Do not open suspicious emails. Look for misspellings, awkward requests or inconsistent grammar.
- A Web site link included in an email can make getting to a Web site easy, but it can also be used to send you to a malicious Web site.
- If you have doubts about the authenticity of an email, do not click on any links in the email – instead, type the Web site or Web page address into the ‘address bar’ of your browser.
- Never type sensitive personal information, such as social security and/or driver license numbers or account numbers and/or passwords, in a reply email.
- Use spam filters to block suspicious emails.
- Use anti-virus and anti-malware software to automatically detect and eliminate malicious software.
- The best practice when you find a phishing email is to either immediately delete it or report it to the company or organization being impersonated. Like Verizon’s firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox, many companies have set up an ‘abuse’ or ‘security’ mailbox to receive those reports and provide customer assistance.
Finally, in order to provide you with additional confidence in Verizon alert messages going forward, Verizon will be removing live ‘clickable’ links from any alert messages we send you regarding payment processing problems or credit card and/or bank account issues. You can continue to access and make changes to your account any time of the day or night at www.verizon.com.
We quote the Verizon email at length because it provides such good advice and because it announces Verizon’s new policy NOT to include links in a variety of different billing and customer service email messages.
Stay safe. Keep deleting those phishing scams.