Verified by Visa:- Spot the Scam

Keep on the lookout for a scam regarding the Verified by Visa program; a legitimate security layer set up to provide increased protection for your data for online purchases. Internet scam artists are sending out spam linking to fake versions of the program that do nothing to protect you.

The Verified by Visa program is part of the 3-D Secure protocol (developed by Visa), with similar programs adopted by Mastercard (SecureCode) and JCB (J/Secure). These programs provide an additional authentication step (i.e. a password request) for your online purchases through participating Internet retailers. This added step is set up to help ensure your identity at the time of purchase. Here’s the official words from Visa:

In addition to our other ways of preventing, detecting, and resolving fraud, we offer Verified by Visa, a free, simple-to-use service that confirms your identity with an extra password when you make an online transaction.

Phishers are casting their lines and looking for new victims. The bait they are using is usually an email that looks like the real deal, but  it ultimately leads to a scam website that tries to get you to submit your credit card number and other information under the guise of the Verified by Visa program. Luckily I’ve got three suggestions for you to protect yourself from getting caught by these scams:

1. Always Scrutinize your email:

Most phishing attempts start with an official-looking email that requests you to join. However, Visa isn’t sending out emails to customers in order to get them to sign up. The usual way you’d get the Verified by Visa sign up option is through a participating retailer as you begin the checkout process on their website. If you receive one of these emails, call your Visa provider and ask them to verify if the email is legit. Chances are it’s not.

2. Watch where you’re surfing:

If you do happen to click on the link from your email, be careful. Phishers and other scam artists are great at copying real websites and making their scam version look legitimate. Check the URL, or web address, that you’re on to make sure you’re on the real site.

3. Go to the main source:

If you’re really interested in signing up for the program or learning more about it, visit the official Verified by Visa FAQ.

As always, be wary of emails in your inbox asking you to sign up for anything or giving you a link to click on to enter any of your information.


6 responses

  1. Emi

    Thanks Avinash! I’ll keep on eye on my accounts over the weekend!


    May 26, 2010 at 12:31

  2. Paul

    Its really too harsh.

    Professional Anti-virus hasn’t kept up with the morphing threatscape, nor have the benevolent mass producers of security holey software, operating systems and browsers/readers included…

    May 26, 2010 at 12:33

  3. Kabir

    Hi Avinash,

    Thank you for the warning! I’ve passed your words to my parents too. They are having VISA cards, so i told them abut this phishing scam.

    Kabir Sharma

    May 26, 2010 at 12:37

  4. Tonic

    Stupidity can’t be helped, but stupidity with ignorance should not be tolerated. When did we stop executing people for reason?

    May 26, 2010 at 14:16

  5. Stephen

    What an idiot thought of this thing, you can’t call and get a password, and any error puts you through a maze of confusion. Nice job Visa.

    May 26, 2010 at 14:21

  6. Donald TM

    Right – “another level of security” by way of another password. By this logic, wouldn’t eighteen passwords make it even more secure? NO! I instead used AMEX when Delta Airlines wanted this..

    By the way, nice writeup Avinash !!

    May 26, 2010 at 14:23

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