Watch out for ‘Verified by Visa’ scam emails

Watch out for phishing emails purporting to be from Verified by Visa. They have been around for several years, but are still being sent with the result that unsuspecting recipients are still being scammed. 

The emails usually include a mixture of fake and genuine information and ask the recipient to set a new secure password for their Verified by Visa account. They can also include links asking for security data or personal information. This would then allow the fraudster to access the victim’s account.

Some such emails feature both MasterCard and Visa logos, which should immediately identify them as fraudulent as these are separate companies who would not be sending out a joint email. The email pictured was addressed "Dear cardholder" instead of a personalised address, and the link included in the email was not properly formatted … more sure signs of a scam.  However, the web address and phone number were correct and the Visa logo included to fool recipients into thinking that the email is genuine.

Visa Europe comment: "Verified by Visa will never send you an email requesting you to update your details for any reason. If you get one of these emails, it is a scam and you should report it to your card issuer."

The Verified by Visa service was created to give you extra protection when you buy something online. Before a purchase is confirmed, a window will appear asking the customer to confirm certain security details.

MasterCard has a similar service called ‘Secured by MasterCard’ that works in the same way. If you want to sign up to either service you can do this on the company website.

If you receive an email from Verified by Visa that you suspect is fraudulent, do not provide any security or personal details. Instead, contact Visa directly to confirm if the email is genuine or not. You can also forward it to [email protected] to be investigated.

For Get Safe Online's information and advice on how to spot and protect yourself against scam emails, click here.

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