Credit card and identify theft is a very real issue. Most consumers and businesses today are vulnerable to fraudulent activity because of the frequency of which credit cards are used both on and offline. Hackers and thieves looking to steal consumers sensitive financial information are knowledgeable about all of the extra security measures that individuals and credit card companies alike put into place in an effort to protect cardholders.
Visa credit card holders were recently victimized by the Verified by Visa phishing scam. Imposters are posing as representatives of the Verified by Visa program and exploiting unsuspecting consumers by convincing them to provide personal information. The scam is circulating by way of email in an effort to target the masses who shop online during the holidays. There is no better timing than the holidays for phishers to prey on innocent shoppers.
Visa has long been known as a credible brand name and has sought to ensure a high level of protection for its cardholders by remaining on top of the game in security measures. This phishing scam compromises cardholders and the creditability of Visa’s reputable name. Cardholders should always be aware of the circulation of these types of attacks that compromise security. While the Verified by Visa program itself continues to provide the extra security it promises to cardholders, the attack on unsuspecting consumers puts everyone at risk.
Verified by Visa Service
The Verified by Visa program sets up controls to prevent any card use without the secure password set up initially when the cardholder signs up for the program. The program will never request personal or confidential information such as social security number or birthdates from an on line request form. Visa does not send invitations to join the program via email or alternative websites.
The Phishing Scam
The phishing site that is posing as the official Verified by Visa has distinct warning signs that consumers should be aware of. For starters, an invitation email is being randomly sent with an invitation to join the service. The address used by the phisher while similar to that of the original Verified by Visa address is distinctly different. The web address being used by Visa is far more secure that the HTTPS used in the address of the phishing scam. Once invited consumers are requested to enter in a number of personal details about themselves over a web based form in order to signup. Cardholders should always exercise caution when requested to join, provide information or share details about their accounts from unsolicited requests.
How to Protect Yourself
As technology advances security measures for individuals and businesses continue to get stronger. Using a credit card does always pose a level of risk. Here are a few basic well known but often forgotten about tips on how to protect your credit card and your identity.
• Secure your card, passwords and numbers. Don’t readily leave your card around, give it to others to use. If your card account number becomes compromised, lost or stolen report it immediately.
• Monitor your card activity, your card balances and use caution when purchasing from new or unknown merchants.
• Do not give personal information just because someone requests it. Once you sign up for a credit card and give your personal information this should not be requested again. Phishing scams often look authentic.
• Report all suspicious activity to your bank, lending institution or credit card issuer immediately. Programs like Verified by Visa are valid well researched and beneficial methods to adding extra security to credit card use. No security program can protect consumers who do not first take the effort to protect themselves.