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Rude holiday scams: Fake credit card and bank emails

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Santa was right. You’d better watch out, at least when it comes to opening incoming emails and especially during the busy holiday season.

Most users receive plentiful promotional messages in their electronic mailboxes during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Many of these missives are legitimate, particularly as hordes of consumers ramp up their online shopping activities.

In a single day, a person might receive several purchase confirmations and parcel delivery reports – in addition to the regularly scheduled notices he or she might expect. Mixed in, however, may be some illegitimate entries from ill-meaning senders.

Skip the scams!

Last week, I personally received a trio of email messages, claiming to have been sent from three different and well-known banking institutions – with which I have never actually done business. Each one claimed suspicious activity had been reported on my account. (Remember? I happened to mention that I have never had accounts with any of these outfits.)

Just for fun, I clicked the “Show Details” button by the sender’s address on each message. As one might guess, each citation had nothing to do with any actual bank.

One has to wonder: How many busy email users will not stop to check? If they click through and follow the provided instructions (thinking they are safeguarding their own financial accounts), they may actually be opening themselves to outright credit card fraud or bank theft.

That’s just plain rude, in the holiday season or anytime.

Here’s a safety tip: If you receive emails that claim to be from your bank, don’t click. Pick up the phone, and call your bank. Or visit the bank’s own website, as it is listed on your financial documents. Don’t trust an unexpected email.

That’s a tip you can bank on.

From an etiquette standpoint, virtually no one would consider it bad form to neglect responding to an incoming spam/scam message.

You are cordially invited to join (“like”) the Etiquette Examiner – Chicago and More page on Facebook for courtesy tips, as well as information and even humor on matters of manners.

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