Don't Bite When Thieves Come "Phishing"

Phishing is a particularly insidious type of fraud. Most phishing expeditions involve data thieves masquerading as someone the victims already know and trust -- such as their bank or merchant services provider.

After luring unsuspecting victims into clicking a link or visiting a website, thieves fool them into revealing passwords, credit card numbers or other sensitive information.

When it comes to guarding against phishing schemes, knowledge is the best defense. For starters, what exactly does a phishing scam look like?

    It's supposedly from someone you know.
    The e-mail or pop-up message appears to be from a company you've done business with or an individual you know.

    It's urgent.
    Phishing e-mails frequently have an urgent, demanding tone and encourage you to act right away by replying with personal information or clicking on a link.

    It's threatening.
    The official-looking e-mails and websites often contain threats or warnings that your account is in danger of being deactivated if you don't confirm your user information or comply with the instructions.

If you receive an e-mail that looks unfamiliar to you, or seems out of character for the institution or individual that sent it, simply close it and delete it. In the process, don't click on any links contained in the e-mail message.

If you wish to communicate with a business, go directly to its website by typing the URL into your browser. Or, pick up the phone and call the customer service department directly.

Remember that neither PNC Merchant Services® nor any Card Association or Debit Network will ever send you an e-mail requesting you click on a link to log into your account. If you receive an e-mail that appears to be from PNC Merchant Services asking for personal information, notify us immediately.

If you ever have questions about whether an e-mail you receive might be a phishing scheme, contact us immediately at 1-800-742-5030.