June 17th, 2004 04:48 PM
Phishing Scam Call to Action
Here is an email I received today regarding a Call to Action against Phishing Scams.
I will attach it too, because the formatting is messed up.
Visa USA, Better Business Bureau, Call For Action and FTC
Educate Consumers to ‘Cut the Line on Phishing Scams’
National Campaign Helps Cardholders Protect Their Identities
Washington, DC – (June 17, 2004) – Visa USA, the Better Business Bureau, Call For Action and the Federal Trade Commission today announced a joint education campaign to help consumers ”cut the line on phishing scams.“
During the campaign, Visa, the Better Business Bureau, Call For Action and the FTC will educate consumers on how to identify phishing scams; how to avoid becoming a victim; and how to report a suspicious e-mail. Comprehensive phishing resources will be available on the Internet for consumers at www.visa.com/phishing, www.bbb.org/phishing, www.callforaction.org and www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
Phishing is an e-mail scam in which fraudsters attempt to convince consumers to reveal personal information – such as their credit or debit account numbers, checking account information, Social Security numbers, and banking account passwords – through official-looking fake Web sites or in a reply e-mail. According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, phishing scams grew 178 percent from March to April of 2004.
“Protecting cardholders is Visa’s highest priority, and through education, we can prevent cardholders from taking the phishing bait,” said Visa USA Executive Vice President Doug Michelman. “Consumers should know how these scams work and should be suspicious of any e-mail that requests account information.”
Many financial institutions use e-mail to communicate with customers and direct them to their Web sites where the customers may be asked to enter personal information as part of registering for a service, such as online banking or accessing account information. However, if the e-mail wasn’t initiated in response to an action by the consumer, it’s a good idea to go directly to the organization’s Web site by entering the Web site’s address (URL) rather than linking to it from an e-mail.
“These ‘phishers’ are sailing under false colors,” said Howard Beales, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “They’re deliberately misrepresenting themselves just to get their hooks into consumers’ personal and financial information. Like fish that’s been around for a few days, this practice really stinks. If consumers aren’t careful, they could find themselves the fish of the day,” he added.
"This phishing doesn't use a rod and reel, rather it uses the Internet and its intent is to catch consumers who aren't aware of this scam. That's why this education campaign is so important," said Shirley Rooker, president of Call For Action.
“Only phonies phish for info,” said Ken Hunter, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Consumers and businesses can protect themselves by following one simple rule: When in doubt, delete.”
How to “Cut the Line on Phishing Scams”
Visa USA, the Better Business Bureau, Call For Action and the FTC are recommending consumers protect themselves from phishing scams by doing the following:
To avoid getting lured into a phishing scam:
Treat unsolicited e-mail requests for financial information or other personal data with suspicion. Unsolicited means the e-mail wasn’t initiated in response to an action by the consumer. Do not reply to the unsolicited e-mail or respond by clicking on a link within the unsolicited e-mail message.
Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify if it is genuine. Visit a secure Web site or call a phone number that you know to be legitimate.
Only enter personal information on a secure Web site that you know to be legitimate. Visa or your card issuer would never ask you to send Social Security numbers, account numbers, passwords, or PINs within an e-mail message. When entering personal data at a Web site, look for a “locked padlock” in the browser or “https” at the beginning of the Web site address to make sure the site is secure.
Update anti-virus software and security patches to system software regularly. Phishing emails can contain viruses that may harm your computer if opened.
Be cautious. Check your monthly statements to verify all transactions. Notify your bank immediately of any erroneous or suspicious transactions.
Forward any suspicious e-mails to the Federal Trade Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org or file a complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov. You can also forward unsolicited e-mails claming to be from Visa or your Visa card issuer to email@example.com.
“We know consumers are concerned about fraud and identity theft, and that’s why in addition to our ’Cut the Line on Phishing’ efforts, we have invested heavily in state-of-the-art technologies to verify personal information, prevent fraud, and detect it at its earliest stages,” said Michelman.
In addition to making comprehensive phishing resources available online, Visa USA, the Better Business Bureau, Call For Action and the FTC will reach consumers as follows:
• Visa USA will be working with its issuing banks by providing cardholder statement inserts.
• The Better Business Bureau system will inform consumers by issuing media alerts through local BBBs, publishing articles in local newsletters and on local Bureau Web sites, and encouraging BBBOnLine participating merchants and other BBB members to link from their Web sites to anti-phishing resources on the bbb.org site.
• Call For Action will notify its network of consumer hotlines and inform consumers through its broadcast network of 24 top-rated radio and television stations, which reaches over 40 million consumers. Call For Action also will help victims of identity theft by providing counselors through a toll-free hotline sponsored by Visa. The toll-free number is 1-866-ID-HOTLINE
• The FTC maintains a comprehensive website (www.consumer.gov/idtheft) that contains consumer and business education materials about identity theft. Consumers can learn how to prevent identity theft and what to do if their identity is stolen. They can also file identity theft related complaints with the FTC at 1-877-ID-THEFT.
Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives. Nearly 21,000 financial institutions worldwide rely on Visa’s processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate $2.5 trillion in annual transaction volume with virtually 100-percent reliability. Consumers in more than 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accepted at millions of locations worldwide. Within the United States, nearly 14,000 financial institutions issue 429 million Visa cards, accounting for more than $1.1 trillion in annual transaction volume. Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources - anytime, anywhere, any way. For more information about Visa, please visit www.visa.com.
The BBB system is dedicated to fostering fair and honest relationships between businesses and consumers, instilling consumer confidence and contributing to an ethical business environment, in both the traditional and online marketplaces. The first BBB was founded in 1912, and the network of BBBs and the Council of Better Business Bureaus have grown to become the most recognized advocate for promoting ethical business and advertising practices, providing more than 56 million instances of service to consumers and businesses in 2003. The BBB’s Internet self-regulation program, BBBOnLine (www.bbbonline.org), helps consumers identify online merchants that meet BBB standards through its Reliability and Privacy "trustmark" programs, and the BBB Code of Online Business Practices. Better Business Bureaus in the U.S. and Canada are supported by 300,000 business members throughout North America.
About Call For Action
Call For Action, Inc (CFA) is the international nonprofit network of consumer hotlines focused on mediating consumer complaints of individuals and small businesses. Since 1963, CFA has educated the public about vital consumer issues including warnings of scams, frauds and other tactics that harm consumers. Its unique partnership with broadcast media and volunteer professionals working on consumers' behalf builds strong community connections and expands public awareness. CFA's broadcast network of 24 top-rated radio and television stations reaches over 40 million consumers.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
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June 17th, 2004 04:52 PM
What are you saying, that it's fake or they realized they need to educate people because it costs the companies money and people time making them want to take their business elsewhere?
June 17th, 2004 10:35 PM
Thanks for info phish!
I hope everyone sends the tips to your friends and family to help them be aware. If nobody or fewer people _bite_ on these scams they'll go away or at least there will be reduction of them. In theory of course.
June 17th, 2004 10:53 PM
Might also want to visit http://www.antiphishing.org to keep up-to-date on the latest phishing schemes out there and to report any.