Email Fraud Awareness

Data security – both yours and that of your customers – is one of the most important aspects of running a business. Payment processing providers have made enormous progress in creating state-of-the-art security systems to keep data safe. Unfortunately, the data thieves who want confidential information have their own high-tech methods.

Have you received an email like this?

From: COMPANY@COMPANY.com [mailto:COMPANY@COMPANY.com]

Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 10:00 AM

To: CUSTOMER

Subject: Annual Agreement Renewal

Dear customer, you need to renew your annual agreement with us. Failure to do so will result with your account status set to INACTIVE, only TEST transactions will be available. Login to your personal page within this email and continue.

Service Team 2012.

The message will also include a link to what they say is the company’s website.

This is not a legitimate message. It is an all-too-common fraud technique known as “phishing” – people attempting to steal confidential information directly from you by disguising themselves as part of a company whose website you use regularly. Numerous large companies have recently received fraudulent emails like this one. It is part of a larger technology trend known as “social engineering” – and it is a crime.

“Phishers” use technology to copy parts of a company’s website, so that when you click on a link in a fraudulent email, it appears that you are being taken to a legitimate site. You will then be asked to enter personal information – but this information is not going to the company, it is going straight into the criminals’ hands. There are currently numerous schemes working their way across the Internet and into people’s email “in” boxes.

We will never initiate through email or telephone any contact that would require updating your login credentials or password data, nor would we ever ask you for information such as your Social Security number. If you ever have any question as to whether an email is legitimate, please do not click on any links within it – just contact your Merchant Services representative and we’ll be happy to help.

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