PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Like a lot of us, Ron Pearson relies on his home computer.
"I normally get or receive emails from family and pay bills and do research on various things," he said.
While on his computer recently, Pearson checked his inbox and discovered an alarming email from Chase Bank.
"It said I need to reactivate my account and that I have to click on this link," he explained.
The email certainly looked authentic. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the Chase logo and that "click here" link where you're asked to log in with your username and your Chase password.
That authentic-looking email, however, is a fake, sent by a scammer trying to wipe out your bank account.
Pearson knew that right away. How?
"Because I don't have a Chase card or account," Pearson said, chuckling.
While Pearson is not a Chase customer and knew right off that this was a scam, you have to wonder how many legitimate Chase customers are falling for that email and providing their sensitive bank information to scammers?
Ken Colburn, a tech expert with Data Doctors, says the number is countless.
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a tech wizard to sniff out obvious phishing emails," Colburn said.
To protect yourself, Colburn says always be cautious when you get an email that tells you to click on a link.
"So, my advice is to treat email as guilty until proven innocent," he said. "Be suspicious about every single thing that comes in. And, until you can prove it's legit, then it's guilty."
When we took a closer look at the "Chase" email Pearson received, several red flags went up.
For starters, the grammar is horrible. It states, “...we discovered multiple login attempt error while login in to your online banking account."
The grammar and verbiage just don't make sense.
"If you read through and the grammar is a little off, then, again, that tells you that it's a foreign person trying to formulate an English sounding scam," Colburn said.
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Also, if you look closely at the sender's email address, you'll see it's not even from Chase.Com. It's from overseas.
"So, it doesn't say dot com; it says dot CZ. That tells you it's from a country," Colburn said. "I believe it stands for the Czech Republic."
Pearson says he's glad he didn’t fall for the scam but admits he probably would have if he were a Chase customer.
"Like I said, if I had a Chase account I would have clicked on that link," he said,
This isn’t just a Chase Bank issue. Scammers pose as many large banks and credit unions. Remember, never click on a link that you’ve been sent, even if it looks legitimate.
And if the email triggers your curiosity, call your bank instead.
This kind of scam is called phishing and the scammer's goal is to get your personal information any way they can. They'll mimic everything from banks and credit unions to Netflix and social media -- anything to which you might have a password.
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