Credit card scams have always been around but the Internet and email have allowed these scams to reach a far greater audience and potentially cause even more damage than in the past. Some of these credit card scams have two goals: to obtain valid credit card numbers and to harvest email addresses for future spam and scam purposes. Shown here is an example:
The recipient is then given two options: to enter a credit card number (and expiration date) or to press "No". Of course, entering the credit card number and pressing "Yes" will send that info to the malicious person behind the scam - and approve the charge. But clicking "No" also has an undesireable affect - it lets the sender know they've obtained a valid email address - one they will use for spam and scam campaigns in the future.
Frustratingly, emailing the sender and complaining does no good. These scams often spoof the From address, using either fake or stolen email addresses. This common tactic is also used by many mass-mailing email worms to make it appear the email is coming from a completely innocent party.
My advice? Give no response and simply delete the email.
This is just one example of a popular credit card scam. Even more devious are those pretending to be email from eBay, PayPal, Wells Fargo, or other reputable merchant and banking organisations. These emails look very authentic and can easily trick unsuspecting users into divulging their credit card numbers, bank account information, and enough personal details to facilitate everything from credit card fraud to identity theft.