“Phishing” is computer slang for “stealing passwords and private account information.” Every major bank or credit card company is a target of phishing scammers, and everyone on the Internet needs to learn to recognize phishing scams.
(See more examples of phishing scam messages.)
In the message below, which would have been sent randomly to thousands of people, you are told there’s a problem with your account and need to correct it. But if you click the link (always deactivated here for safety), you will be taken not to the official Discover Card site, but to a scam website that will try to steal your private information.
Subject: Update Your Account
From: Discover Card email@example.com
Date: Fri, 30 May 2015
Some information on your account appears to be missing or incorrect.
Please confirm your information promptly so that you can continue to enjoy all the benefits of your Discover account.
If you don’t confirm your information, we’ll limit what you can do with your Discover account.
Here’s a link to all the legal details
Validate your account Here [Link deactivated here for safety.]
Thank you for being a Discover customer.
If you ever get a message of this type and are unsure if it’s authentic, it’s always a good idea to call your bank or credit card company and ask for confirmation.