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Phishing Scams
 
 
There is a fast-growing threat to personal security called "phishing" scams that Verizon Online wants to make sure you are aware of. Phishing scams use fraudulent e-mail addresses and Web sites under the guise of trusted company names to trick users into providing sensitive data such as a credit card number, user ID and password, or social security number. If information is provided to these sites, users can fall victim to unauthorized credit card purchases or even identity theft.

Some phishing scams have been identified as targeting Verizon customers. One version claimed to represent the "Verizon Billing Team" and instructed recipients to provide extensive credit card and personal information by way of an e-mail link in order to maintain account access.

If you receive a suspicious e-mail allegedly written on behalf of Verizon matching the description above, DO NOT REPLY TO IT. Instead, Verizon urges you to take the following actions:
  • Do not open any attachments.
  • Do not click on any associated links or provide any information that the e-mail requests.
  • Delete the message immediately.
You may report suspected fraud by sending an e-mail message to abuse@verizon.net. Provide as much information as possible about the fraudulent activity or message.

If at any time you receive an e-mail message that claims to be from Verizon Online (here are two examples) asking you to take actions involving sensitive account information, call 1-800-567-6789 or e-mail the Billing Department at billingservices@verizon.net to verify that the message is legitimate.

Here are additional tips for identifying a possibly fraudulent e-mail:

Tip No. 1: In most e-mail applications, if you move your mouse cursor over a clickable link without actually clicking it, the status bar at the bottom of the browser window will display the name of the Web site you will be sent to if you click the link. If the link displayed in the status bar is different than the link shown, there is a good chance that the message is not authentic.
Tip No. 2: If you suspect an e-mail message may be fraudulent, instead of clicking on a link listed in the e-mail, open a new Web browser window and manually type the Web site address into it. By manually typing the Web site address in a new browser window, you eliminate the possibility of being sent to a "hidden" Web site address by the link in the e-mail message. Remember that even when using this technique, you should still take appropriate precautions to ensure the validity of the e-mail and Web site you are surfing to.
Tip No. 3: If you have questions about the authenticity of a Web site that asks you for credit card or other personal information, call the company's customer service telephone number before providing any data.
Tip No. 4: If you click on a link within an e-mail you receive and it takes you to a legitimate Verizon Web site but a window pops up on top of the Verizon Web site that is asking you for personal information this is a Phishing scam. Verizon will never ask for personal information of any kind in a pop up window and only through a secure Web site.

For more information, see the Anti-Phishing Working Group Web site.
 
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