Tips on ways to spot a fraudulent email
- Requests for specific personal information. Most banks will never ask you to reply to an email with any personal information such as your Social Security number, ATM or PIN number.
- Urgent appeals. These often take the form of messages claiming that your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify or authenticate your personal information. Most banks will never ask you to verify information in this way.
- System and security messages. These often claim that the bank needs to confirm important information and you must update your information online. Most banks will never ask you to verify information in this way.
- Offers that sound too good to be true. You may be asked to fill out a short customer service survey in exchange for money being credited to your account, then to provide your account number for proper routing of the supposed credit. Most banks will never request your information in this way.
- Misspellings and grammatical errors. These are often the mark of fraudulent emails or websites. Be on the lookout for typos or grammatical errors, awkward writing and poor visual design.
- Odd-looking URLs. Many mail programs will display the destination URL of a link when you place your cursor on the link. (Caution: Do not click the link.) A URL that is formatted YourBank.suspicious.com will take you to a page on the suspicious.com site, not the YourBank site, even though YourBank is used as part of the URL.