Between social networks and the growing amount of personal information on the Internet, it’s easy for scammers to add that little personal touch to their unsolicited, spamming emails. On the list of growing scams is an email that presents itself as a $1,000 bonus from your “employer.” The email starts off by saying, “On behalf of your employer, you have been issued a $1,000 Visa Gift Card free of charge.” The sender indicates she’s from the Benefits Office and provides a website link to claim the card. Falling for this scam may actually end up costing you money and a stolen identity.
You can protect yourself from phishing scams like this by considering the following tips:
Be skeptical of any unsolicited electronic requests for you to verify or update account information, or to click on or download information – even if it appears to come from a known business or organization.
Delete the email immediately if you suspect a phishing scam, do not click on any links or download any attachments. Independently contact the business or organization via phone to determine if the request or, in this case, a “reward” is legitimate.
Check your browser for phishing protection. Many updated Internet browsers have built in phishing protection.
Ensure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus and malware protection software installed and perform updates regularly.