What is Phishing?
When internet fraudsters impersonate a business to trick you into giving out your personal information, it’s called phishing.
Fraudulent emails (phish) and websites can be very sophisticated, and may look identical to BBVA emails and websites. Fraudsters can tamper with the sender information in an email to make their phish look even more legitimate. If you suspect that an email is phishing:
- Do not reply to email, text, or pop-up messages that ask for your personal or financial information.
- Do not click on links within them either – even if the message seems to be from an organization you trust. It isn’t. Legitimate businesses do not ask you to send sensitive information through unsecure channels.
- If you think the email is suspicious, call the organization represented in the email to make sure it is a legitimate email.
Learn to recognize fraudulent emails
Although fraudsters use various tactics in their phishing efforts, there are some common elements you should familiarize yourself with.
- Awkward greeting: A phish may address the customer with a nonsensical greeting or may not refer to the customer by name.
- Typos: This isn’t because fraudsters don’t know how to spell – it’s so the phish won’t be blocked by email filters. You may even see a misspelled company name.
- Strange and unfamiliar links: Notice if the sender gives a personal email as the contact address instead of the company’s address.
- Compelling and urgent language: An urgent need to communicate with you for your own security, or a request to update your information immediately.
- Attachments: Suspicious files attached to an email can cause you to download malware such as virus or spyware.