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Man avoids phishing scam; warns others to take closer look

Updated: Friday, March 14 2014, 05:07 PM CDT
Written by: Kyle Rogers

HARRISBURG -- Kenneth Meloy of Harrisburg enjoys being outdoors, but Friday morning he became all too aware of the virtual hunt for information as phishing.

A loyal customer to Bass Pro Shops, Meloy opened up a credit card with Bank of America by way of the popular outdoors store. He often receives e-mails from the bank notifying him of banking statements and payment notices.

One message, however, raised a red-flag just two clicks of the mouse later.

"I said 'Whoa, stop', then I backed all out," said Meloy at his home near Harrisburg.

Disguised as an e-mail from Bank of America, complete with an official logo and a copyright tag line, the message warned Meloy if he did not confirm his account information by March 18th, he'd be forced to deal with an indefinite suspended account.

After clicking on the link, he was directed to what appeared to be the bank's official website.

The e-mail never included any of Meloy's personal information, such as his name and the e-mail address it came from was not related to the standard Bank of America e-mail. As well, there were no security guarantees within the message which are usually added to any message.

"At about that time, my Norton security came up with a red flag thing that it tried to redirect my link to a suspicious site that was under investigation," said Meloy.

On his laptop, the security software detected he was being directed to a fraudulent website; one known for unsafe activity.

While he did not click any further, Meloy picked up the phone to call the bank about the e-mail.

He said a woman on the other line asked him to forward the e-mail to the bank for it to review.

Meloy asked the woman if the e-mail he opened was a form of scam.

"She said, 'Yes. It is."

On Bank of America's website, a section of the site is devoted to informing customers on how to avoid being a victim of online phishing.

Of the several ways to spot an e-mail not from Bank Of America, the website said any urgent appeals is a sign of a phishing scheme.

"We will never claim your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify or authenticate your personal information via email," the statement reads.

Meloy hopes his call to CBS 21 News will warn others to pay extra-close attention to suspicious e-mails claiming to be by the bank.

Bank of America urges its customers to contact them regarding privacy issues and to report any suspicious e-mails.

Man avoids phishing scam; warns others to take closer look

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