Just received a bogus email from Regions Banks asking me to update personal information. Called Regions and they are aware of the scam. I do not have a Regions account but it may be a parent or holding company for a mortgage, credit card etc. that I hold. Be careful!
The same thing happens with emails that appear to be from Bank One, US Bank, Citibank, Smith Barney, and others, no doubt. If you check the websites of these companies, they contain alerts about the problem.No one should directly answer this type of message. If you do not have an account, ignore it. If you do have an account with them, contact them in a usual way, if you're concerned, but do NOT answer that email message. It may look legit, using the company's actual logo, but it goes somewhere else.Bill
"The same thing happens with emails that appear to be from Bank One, US Bank, Citibank, Smith Barney, and others, no doubt. If you check the websites of these companies, they contain alerts about the problem.No one should directly answer this type of message. If you do not have an account, ignore it. If you do have an account with them, contact them in a usual way, if you're concerned, but do NOT answer that email message. It may look legit, using the company's actual logo, but it goes somewhere else.Bill"Bill is absolutely right on!!! I just want to point out that his is only a partial list. I couldn't begin to list the fraud "your account" messages from any number of financial institutions, some of which I've heard of, some not, I get. And, that's just the ones that get past the Spam watch.The first one I saw had me worried, since it was from a bank I had once had a credit card with (long since abandoned), and I was scared someone had actually stolen the account. I still worry about that, but won't open any of these emails.(I still own shares in Wave Systems, which was the pioneer in developing truly secure on-line transactions, using hardware. Things are moving in that direction, which should be much safer, but it is taking a long, long time—unfortunately, I doubt Wave shareholders will benefit when, eventually, some version of the Wave paradigm gets adopted, probably proving a classic case for investors on how first movers who get way ahead of demand for their product get left in the trash heap of innovation history,)
"Phishing" (ph instead of f) is the use of emails that spoof a financial institution in hopes of getting personal information or account information so the perpetrator could hijack your bank account(s).- Never use the link in an email to a financial institution. If you are concerned about an email from a financial institution, use your browser and type in the URL yourself or use a "favorites" shortcut you had generated and you know is good to get to the company's web site. The problem with links in emails is that it is very easy to construct a link that says one thing and takes you to a different web site, or make use of certain URL features that most people might not be aware of (e.g., specifying email@example.com is syntactically the use of "somewhere.com" as the id to log on to "someplace.com", so just seeing a recognized domain name might not be enough to know where the URL is really going).- Never reveal account information or any personal information to any party where you did not initiate contact. If it is really important, get the party's name, phone number, and company, and then call that company's number that you know from a good source, such as from the phone book or from a web site (that you accessed, not from a web site directed to by an email), to call back and ask for that party's extension.Phishing has gotten more sophisticated; it is often hard to tell a spoofed email from a real one. Sometimes it helps if one knows what to look for in the "source code" (HTML code) of the message, but even this can be deceiving because a web site might be set up with a similar name that one might mistaken for the real site (e.g., paypall.com or paypal.org instead of paypal.com, or keybank.com instead of key.com).Of the emails claiming to be from maybe a couple dozen different organizations claiming that there is a problem with my account or there are new security procedures, only two proved to be valid, but I didn't trust the emails but connected directly to their web sites using known URLs and, as soon as I was logged on, their sites identified the situation.I don't even follow Vanguard's emailed URLs to my account statements--I don't know how long it will be before some nefarious person decides to spoof them and send out an email the day before Vanguard emails their notices but with the links taking a person to an out-of-country site.
I had one from Washington Mutual where I have an account. I noticed that the cursor changed shape in the vicinity of the link which is unusual. Checked the HTML. They had made an image of the link text and the URL for this image was quite different. It took you to their site. All the logos and images looked ligit. Sent info to Wamu and they replied with appropriate warnings.JG
"I don't even follow Vanguard's emailed URLs to my account statements--I don't know how long it will be before some nefarious person decides to spoof them and send out an email the day before Vanguard emails their notices but with the links taking a person to an out-of-country site."Excellent point, Mark. Even where we do have accounts need caution. I insist on hard copy of all financial statements and transactions, even though elsewhere in my life I am desperately trying to go digital (did records to CDs, am slowly scanning photos, with the plan of moving albums to the attic, and just got a DVD recorder and hope to get rid of a couple of hundred VHS, mostly culled from PBS, along with rerecording old movies).One of the things that has struck me, as I've somewhat kept track of relevant goings on re: my Wave investment, has been how slow banks have been to jump on a serious solution to continuous security problems, that cost them plenty (not to mention losses to customers). There's a big problem, and passwords, which are a pain, anyway, are very vulnerable. Of course, part of the problem is, to get real authenticiation, we will have to move to some kind of universal, physical feature (fingerprint, iris scan) ID, and this upsets some Civil Libertarians. I'm a Civil Libertarian, but I also live in the real world, and I know if the government wants to find me, in this modern world, I'm not going to be able to go "underground," only at risk of recognition through my fingerprints. Unless I'm willing to give up all my assets, I'm findable, and at this point I'm a lot more at risk of some criminal stealing my identity or raiding an account or misusing a credit card number than I am of the secret police coming after me for saying that spending tens of millions of dollars for a toga party to celebrate the triumph of the rich when our National Guard are making huge sacrifices for our country is obscene.
I too got this e-mail, from my motley fool only email address (I have a personal domain name, and have an email address that is ONLY for the motley fool website and its newsletters).Are our e-mail address that easily found on here? Or does the fool sell our e-mail addresses? (To be fair, it could always be that company that David & Tom use for the Stock Advisor).
Even where we do have accounts need caution. I insist on hard copy of all financial statements and transactions, even though elsewhere in my life I am desperately trying to go digital What would be the advantage of a physical hard copy over a printout of a file stored on your computer?
rsprang,You wrote, What would be the advantage of a physical hard copy over a printout of a file stored on your computer? 1. Reliability. Paper is more reliable than a hard drive.2. Bandwidth. You can probably flip through a folder faster than a computer than open all those files.With that said, I'd add that there's nothing wrong with keeping only electronic copies. Just be sure to burn everything to CDs or DVDs frequently. Electronic copies may have the following advantages:1. Potential speed of access. (Searching or indexing)2. Slightly quicker distribution and reproduction.3. Less physical space and clutter. (Greater density.)Item #3 being the important thing, of course.- Joel
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