SCAM ALERT Discover Card Imposters

AS REPORTED BY BOB SULLIVAN AT MSNBC (3.13.2003):

Beware any e-mail, however professional in tone, that asks for personal account information. Internet users continue to be flooded with legitimate-looking e-mails that ask recipients to enter account numbers, passwords, and other data. This con, aimed at Discover Card holders, is just the latest in a long line of scam e-mails sent by con artists trying to hijack accounts at AOL, PayPal, eBay and other online firms.

According the Sullivan, e-mails, sent randomly to both Discover Card customers and others who do not have a Discover Card, claimed to be from Discover Financial Services. The messages told recipients that their accounts were on hold and they needed to log in with their account number and mother’s maiden name to reactivate them.  “Due to your inactivity your account has been put On Hold,” the e-mails said, just under a Discover Card logo pulled from the Discover Card’s Web site. “To remove this status you have to Log In to your account and review Discover Privacy Policy.”

Sullivan says, "The e-mail looks real, and most of its content is pulled directly from Discover’s computers. Even a suspicious recipient who looked at the e-mails source code would see a series of links to www.novusnet.com, the company’s Web site. But replies to the fraudulent e-mail, including any credit card numbers that are provided, are quietly routed to a computer with an Internet address in Russia.

TIPS FOR FRAUD PREVENTION:

BE SUSPICIOUS OF ANY E-MAIL MESSAGES YOU RECEIVE.  Much of what passes for "factual information" in Internet messages is untrue.  DO NOT GIVE CREDIT CARD INFORMATION OR ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION to anyone unless you are absolutely certain of their identity.  If you receive an e-mail form a company, with whom you do business, it is best for you to retrieve their phone number from information that they previously mailed to you through the postal system and call them and ask them about the e-mail.  If the request from them was authentic, you can provide the requested information by phone.   Remember, you are the first line of defense against unscrupulous scam artists!

REPORT CONSUMER FRAUD AND INTERNET CRIME

Or call the National Fraud Information Center at 1-800-876-7060,

Your Local Law Enforcement Agency or the FBI

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