(Phoenix, AZ – Aug. 10, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today warned consumers about a new phishing scam circulating in the Phoenix area. Consumers have notified Goddard's office of emails requesting personal identifying information using Chase Bank and Wells Fargo logos.
The Wells Fargo email tells recipients that their Wells Fargo account information must be updated "as part of our continuing commitment to protect your account and reduce the instances of fraud on our website." The email provides a link to a phony Web site which appears to be Wells Fargo and goes on to assure customers that once the information has been updated, their account will continue to operate as normal.
The Chase Bank email tells recipients the bank will deactivate and delete CHASE on-line Payments and Transfer services unless they "renew" their account information. The email also provides a link to a phony Web site.
"These are scams," Goddard said. "No financial institution will request personal identifying information by email. I encourage consumers to report these emails to my office."
Goddard offers the following tips to consumers:
- • Never provide your password or confidential financial information to a link obtained through an unsolicited email. Often these links direct you to fake sites (but appearing highly realistic) designed to steal information.
- • Be suspicious of any email that requests personal financial information or directs you to a Web site that does.
- • If you want to determine the email's authenticity, call the company directly using its general information number.
- • Check your bank, credit and debit card statements regularly to ensure that all transactions are legitimate. If you detect suspicious activity, contact your bank or card issuer immediately.
- • Both Wells Fargo and Chase Bank request consumers report suspicious emails to their fraud investigators. Emails with Wells Fargo logos can be forwarded email@example.com and emails with Chase Bank logos can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please contact the Attorney General's Office in Phoenix at 602.542.5763, in Tucson at 520.628.6504, or outside the metro areas at 1.800.352.8431. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General's Office has 23 satellite offices throughout the state with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours of operation are posted on the Attorney General's Web site at www.azag.gov . An online complaint form is also available on the Web site.