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Top 5 Ways Fraudsters Try to Steal Your Information

Top 5 Ways Fraudsters Try to Steal Your Information

VISA | June 10, 2020

Cybercriminals are counting on us to be distracted and let our guard down. If we do, they can trick us into handing over our personal or financial information using one of their favorite tactics – phishing.

You might be familiar with email phishing but it’s not the only type of phishing you could experience. Criminals will also use phone calls, text messages, websites and social media to deploy a phishing scam. Below are some common forms of phishing that you might encounter and the warning signs to look out for.


Phone call phishing

Warning signs to look out for:

  1. A phone call from “your credit card company” or “financial institution,” typically from someone who works in the “Security and Fraud Department”

  2. You are told your card has been flagged for suspicious transactions and you need to prove that you have the card in your possession

  3. You are asked to provide the three-digit security code on the back of your payment card, a one-time passcode that was just sent to you, or your PIN


Email phishing

Warning signs to look out for

  • Spelling and grammar errors in the subject line or body of the email

  • No contact information. If something feels suspicious, contact your financial institution directly using the phone number on the back of your card

  • Deadline. Sometimes scammers will include a deadline and threaten account suspension to add urgency to override your normal sense of caution

  • Suspicious requests. Visa, like other financial institutions, does not contact cardholders to request their personal account information

  • The email address doesn't match the organization (i.e., or

  • Suspicious hyperlinks. Avoid clicking on hyperlinks if possible. A single click can cause your computer to become infected with malware


Text message phishing

Warning signs to look out for:

  • There’s a link instead of a phone number to call

  • The text you receive may not contain the name of the bank or any other information

  • The text requests that you log in to your bank account to verify a transaction, enter your PIN, or provide your 3-digit CVV code


Website phishing

Warning signs to look out for:

  • There’s something slightly off about the web address or the actual page. Look for misspelled words, substitutions or updated logos

  • An unusual pop-up on the site that requests that you enter your account information

  • There are HTML links that don’t match their destination


Social Media Phishing

Warning signs to look out for


  • A friend request from someone you don’t know

  • A post asking you to click on a link that requests personal information


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