Scammers gained access to millions of email addresses over the weekend by hacking into a Dallas company that manages email accounts for major banks and retailers including Chase, Citi and Best Buy.
That will make it easier for the crooks to fool people by sending them phony websites made to look like the real deal, since they know the recipients are actually customers of the company they simulate. Called “phishing,” this scam attempts to get you to log in to your online account, which of course provides your username and password to the scammers.
There is a simple way to avoid getting hooked by phishing scams – always visit company websites by opening them in your browser. Never go to a company website through a link in an email.
We have all developed bad habits based on the convenience of just clicking on a link, but in these dangerous times you should refrain from using links unless you specifically requested them, for instance by asking for your password information.
The hacking story also provides you with a good opportunity to warn your clients about phishing scams. Our clients that do so have found they have become an even more trusted advisor to their clients.