Protecting Yourself from Phishing Attempts

First Data Thought Leadership

At some time or another, most people have been exposed to phishing scams that use email or malicious websites to solicit personal information by posing as a trustworthy organization. Scammers may send email seemingly from a reputable credit card company or financial institution that suggests that there is a problem and requests account information. If you respond with the requested information, scammers can use it to gain access to your accounts.

Unfortunately, companies that enjoy the trust of many consumers and businesses are often attractive targets for criminals, who sometimes try to exploit that trust by masquerading as these companies in an attempt to steal account login credentials.

You can help protect yourself, your employees and your cardholders from phishing scams by remembering the following tips:

  1. Think carefully any time you receive an unexpected message from a merchant or financial institution.
  2. If you don’t recognize the sender’s name or address or if you’re asked to do something unusual, be careful.
  3. The STAR Network, as well as most reputable companies will never send you an email asking you to click a link to log in to your account. Always type the address into your Web browser’s address bar or log in to
  4. Never click on links in email messages that ask for your personal or account information.
  5. If you receive an email message that appears to come from the STAR Network or another company and it claims that your account is locked or your password has expired, don’t click any link in the message. Clicking the link may bring you to a fraudulent website that will ask you to disclose your login credentials or attempt to install malware on your computer.
  6. If you do receive email that appears to be from the STAR Network but that you suspect is a phishing scam, forward it to