The fraudulent email I received from my credit card company, well, turns out it was real! After receiving the suspicious email and phone call asking for my social security number, I alerted the company and shared the email and phone number. Here is the (edited) response I received this morning from its Abuse department.
Thanks for checking with us on this e-mail. It actually is a valid e-mail that we sent to our customers and we’re sorry if it alarmed you. We appreciate your bringing it to our attention.
The response also included tips to detect phishing e-mails.
– Be careful of urgent-sounding e-mails that ask for your personal information.
– If you get an e-mail that claims to be from us but you aren’t sure, or you think it’s suspicious, don’t click any of the links. Just send it to us then delete it.
– Notice typos and grammatical mistakes. It’s a dead giveaway in fake e-mails.
And the email from my credit card company suggested these steps to make sure no one gets access or my personal information. Interesting that it omitted credit card freezing to prevent theft.
– Log in regularly to your online accounts and notice the last log in date.
– Check your bank and credit card statements to make sure all that you recognize all the transactions. If something looks suspicious, give us a call.
– Make sure you update your browser with the latest version and install any security patches that come with it.
– Make sure you have up-to-date anti-virus software and that run a scan on your computer at least once a month.
– Be careful when you download free software off the Internet. A lot of that free software can have viruses or other malicious software that could steal your information.
– Pay attention to e-mails from us””or other online companies””that tell you about e-mail and address changes, or any other activity on your accounts.
Lastly, the response said here’s what to do if I’m worried I clicked on a fraudulent email.
– Call us immediately to report that account information may have been compromised.
– Log in to Capital One Online Banking and change your password and security questions.
– Check your accounts for suspicious activity.
– Run your antivirus software on your computer.
I’m still concerned about the phone call, and replied that asking for my social security number was “a ridiculous question and one that should not be asked, even by legit callers. Your company should know better.” But I am a tiny bit relieved.