Spot suspicious emails

Email inboxes are popular targets for scammers, so it’s important to know which emails are safe to open or reply to.

“Phishing” is a term used to describe fraudulent emails that attempt to steal your personal information. The scam may ask for your Social Security number, bank account information or credit card data. Barclays will never ask for that information through an email. In fact, all of our emails contain four pieces of consistent information to help you easily verify that our communication is authentic:

  • Your first name and, occasionally, your last name.
  • The last four digits of your credit card account number.
  • Our mailing address and contact information.
  • A unique tracking ID that we can use to verify the email. Email scammers may also pose as a trusted source, like a friend, family member or employer.Here are two ways to make sure an email is legitimate:
    1. Misspelled and incorrect information are common in phishing emails. If it doesn’t “feel right,” it probably isn’t. Phishing emails often change a letter or two in a familiar sender’s email address, or contain errors throughout the text.
    2. Phishing emails often ask you to click on a link or open an attachment. Never click on a link in an email that you weren’t expecting, or from a sender you don’t recognize. One trick you can use is to hover your mouse over the link in the email. If the preview address looks different from the one typed out in the email, don’t click on it.

Fake web sites are also commonly used by email scammers. When you visit sensitive sites on your computer from an email – sites like those for a bank or insurance company – be sure to type in the web address manually. You can also download browsers with anti-phishing capability. These warn you when you try to access a phony website.

As a general rule, never include sensitive information such as your full account number, Social Security number, username, password, Credit Card Validation (CCV) code, ATM/debit or credit card number or bank account number in any email you send.

For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identity Theft Center online at The FTC updates their site regularly with scam alerts, email tips, and other information about avoiding fraud.

Source: Barclay Cards

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