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Avoid being a victim of an e-mail phishing scam

submitted on October 7, 2009 by siggy38 in "Member's Lounge"
A recent phishing scam resulting in usernames and passwords of Microsoft's Hotmail, Google's Gmail, and possibly accounts of AOL and Yahoo users being posted online is cause for concern for anyone who uses any of those services. Rather than panic, though, there are simple ways to avoid becoming a victim or being further victimized, if your account has already been compromised.;title

  • 40017
    Posted by HouTex on October 7, 2009
    [reply] 3 0
    It's import to remember that these phishing scams can only succeed when the recipient of the fake email clicks on a link in the message and then enters their personal information on that web site. Remember that your bank or eBay or Paypal would never send you an email to solicit that kind of information online. You should never provide your account names and passwords no matter how real the fake page may look or how believable the request may seem.

    Protect yourself against stolen credit card information, too. For online purchases, a nice option offered by Citi Mastercard, Discover, and others is a virtual or secure account number. The alternate account number is generated at your request for each transaction, and cannot be used at any other merchant if stolen by anyone. The Citi VANs expire in 1 month, while the Discover SANs have the same expiration date as the original card (so they can be used for recurring payments).
  • 40038
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    Posted by Solstice on October 7, 2009
    [reply] 3 0
    Another little tip that I personally partake of...

    Each year I request a new card and card number for each of my credit or debit cards. (Most banks and credit card companies will do this for free, and if they say no, then tell them you would rather close your account then. They tend to comply with the request pretty quickly at that point.)

    Why do this you ask?

    This means that even if a naughty person manages to get a hold of your old card number, it is now useless, and no single number sequence is in circulation for more than one year at a time.

    The fact is that even when you follow all the safety rules, sometimes card numbers are hijacked through other means too endless to list, and this provides one more little extra barrier of protection.
  • 40040
    Posted by YanBz on October 7, 2009
    [reply] 2 0
    Citibank sent an letter lately informing me that my CC was compromised. The letter had a new card with a different number. I never noticed any transactions thought that I didn't initiate.

    I don't like changing CC numbers. I usually have a million of automatic payments scheduled some of which I tend to forget after I change the card.
    • Solstice
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      Posted by Solstice on October 7, 2009
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      I'm not a big automatic payment person, so that makes it easier for me to switch over.
      (I only have two auto payment plans, and one is over with after this month.)

      When I make the change, I do have to go around to my favorite shopping sites if any of them have the info saved, but I think that is a small price to pay for the extra bit of security involved.
      (I also try to avoid this in the first place whenever practical.)
    • 40043
    • HouTex
      Posted by HouTex on October 8, 2009
      [reply] 3 0
      That's where I find the virtual account numbers come in handy. I use one for recurring mail order prescriptions, and it would be useless anywhere else. The monthly statement specifies which purchases were made with these alternate numbers, and so far (several years now) it has worked flawlessly for me.
    • 40072
    • Solstice
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      Posted by Solstice on October 8, 2009
      [reply] 3 0
      Those are helpful for online ordering, but I'm referring to the larger picture.

      Credit card statements, receipts, skimmers, cashiers copying numbers, and a host of other threats also exist for when you use your card manually at a store or restaurant. This helps combat that to an additional degree.

      Even with the shredding of paperwork, visually scanning ATM locations, and trying to watch cashiers like a hawk, it can still happen, as sometimes card numbers can be stored electronically for a long period of time, and/or you simply make an unknown mistake that releases your number.


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