Despite all of the incredible technological resources at our disposal to help combat fraud, it is often the human element that provides the opportunity for criminals to collect private information and use it for their own gain.
A prime example of criminals taking advantage of our good and trusting nature is the phishing scam. Phishing scams have been around for a long time, but in this day of eemails, texting, social media, and online advertising; criminals have more pathways than ever to try to trick you into divulging private data like credit and debit card information. But as consumers we can—and should—take some steps to help safeguard our personal and financial information as best as possible.
In order to help you become savvier about phishing scams, here are some quick tips and resources to help you avoid getting hooked:
- Be skeptical of any unsolicited phone call, eemail, text message or social media request from an individual claiming to be a MasterCard representative, and importantly DO NOT RESPOND. Instead report the fraudulent inquiry to MasterCard by clicking here, the bank that issued your credit or debit card, or the U.S. Federal Trade Commission by clicking here.
- Do not double click on any attachment including PDFs sent by an unknown or un-validated source no matter how harmless or familiar the title appears.
- Invest in up-to-date antivirus, anti-spam, and firewall software for your home computer. If shopping on-line consider registering with MasterCard SecureCode for enhanced security.
- To review a list of various phishing scams and hoaxes, click here.
The approaches criminals use to mask their phishing scams are ever-evolving and changing, so be aware and don’t hesitate to report any activity you are suspicious about.
At MasterCard, protecting cardholders by preventing fraud and safeguarding financial information is a top priority and we understand that fraud attempts and scams are constantly evolving. For that reason, every year MasterCard hosts multiple global fraud forums to help our payment card industry partners come together to identify new fraud scams and share best practices to improve overall fraud prevention methods. In fact, at our upcoming annual Americas Global Risk Management Conference, Mark Sullivan, Director of the United States Secret Service, will be sharing examples of the agency’s efforts in leading the fight against financial criminals. These conferences are just a few of the many ways in which MasterCard works to help educate payment card data security professionals so they can tackle some of the most pressing data security challenges and help keep your private information secure.