The last two months of the year typically are the busiest for most consumers. From the crush of the holiday season, cooking and baking to the whirlwind of gift buying, many consumers reduce their awareness of the danger lurking in their email inbox and swiftly swipe their credit card for purchases. It’s only until much later do they look to find an email that says, “Your Visa card was upgraded with increased spending limits.”
Great! I could use the extra cash and pay it off after the holidays. Word to the wise, BBB warns do not open the email for it could open a series of unfortunate events that could cost the user a lot of financial grief. One of the key warnings is when the sender clearly doesn’t even know your name and just addresses you by your email address. Think about most of the emails you receive on a typical day, the salutation usually includes your first name even if it is part of a mail merge.
The next warning is when the email goes on to say you have been approved for a new charge card with an increased spending limit. Specifically, it says, “Your card has been prepared and is ready for use.” The recipient is then asked to click on a link in the email to activate the card. Don’t do it! The sender is clearly seeking to get your personal information.
So no matter how busy it gets, keep your identity and your credit safe not only this time of year but all year by being wary of rogue emails stating you have an increased limit from a person who clearly doesn’t know your first name.
Before giving any information over the phone, responding to an email or completing a form online, start your research with someone you Trust, www.bbb.org.