Indiana's attorney general is warning state residents about a phishing attack in which an email claiming to be from Chase Bank offers customers $20 to complete an online survey and provide personal information.
"Yet again, technologically savvy identity thieves are tricking people into providing their personal account information and Social Security numbers through very official looking emails," Attorney General Steve Carter said in a statement this week. "Hoosiers must guard their personal information the same as they would their purse or wallet and never give away information when solicited, no matter how enticing the offer."
Victims who choose to participate in the survey are asked to click on an emailed link that brings them to a bogus Chase website that closely resembles the real thing. They are promised a $20 deposit into their bank accounts if they answer a series of questions, providing account information and their last four Social Security digits.
"Throughout the past several years, we have seen an increase in these types of phishing schemes," said Carter. "As the scam artists get craftier, Hoosiers must also be aware of the techniques employed by these individuals."
Chase said on its website that it normally sends emails to publicize a new banking feature, not to request personal information.
"Looks can be deceiving," the bank said. "As criminals make more credible forgeries of legitimate email and websites, you can no longer rely on seeing familiar graphics like the Chase logo."
"The key to determining the authenticity of email lies in the tone of the message and in the nature of the solicitation," added the bank statement. "Criminals want you to give them information, and they're not very subtle about it. Our goal in marketing via email is to inform you about a product or service we think you might be interested in."
The Anti-Phishing Working Group, a group dedicated to wiping out internet fraud, reported it received 17,877 reports of phishing in January, a new record.