CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A reminder to be extra careful when opening e-mails, because cyber-crooks are using clever ways to get you to give up your personal information online.
A very authentic-looking but fraudulent email is being sent to various email accounts. It’s a fake online banking alert that says it’s from Bank of America. It has all the correct colors and logos and says your account is temporarily unavailable while they update the system.
It’s a classic “phishing scheme,” aimed at getting you to hand over your personal financial information. The email provides an authentic looking link which even starts with “https,” making it look like a secure site, which it is not.
If you click the link it leads to an unsecured site which leads to a questionnaire asking for your credit or debit card information, as well as security questions, under the guise that you’re updating your account.
Don’t click the link, and of course, don’t submit any personal information. Your bank or financial institution will never ask for any of this information in an email.
If you have any doubt, simply open a new browser, and log in normally. You’ll find that your account has not been disabled, and the email is a hoax.
In the instance of Bank of America, you can forward the email to their fraud unit using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. They will disable the link, and you will have done your part in possibly stopping an instance of cybercrime.