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Undersecretary Barbara AnthonyPosted by:
Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation

The other day, a friend of mine forwarded to me a classic e-mail phishing scam, the bank account that has been flagged for security reasons.

This one, however, isn’t really one of the better ones. Here it is:

Wells fargo e-mail

While this one comes with a proper looking logo and has a “@wellsfargo.com” e-mail address, there are a number of warning flags to take note. For example, it’s unlikely a major institution would misspell itself as “WellsFargo” – or even “wellsfargo” as it does in one instance. There are also a number of other grammatical errors – the random comma in the very first line, the random capitalizing of “Banking” and “Information” – that make clear this is not coming from a professional organization.

What these scam artists are trying to do is get you to cough up your account information and steal your identity and your bank account. In many cases, these e-mails look legitimate. They have what look like the appropriate logo and links, and can be much better written and deceptive.

Your bank is never going to ask you via e-mail for account information. If you get an e-mail like this, and you think it might be legitimate, call your bank at the phone number provided on your monthly statement, or go to their official website (not the one in the e-mail). They can tell you if there’s a problem with your account. 

My friend was able to easily pick out this scam, but not all of these e-mails are so easily identifiable. Taking a second to ensure you’re getting legitimate e-mails can save you hours of headaches.

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