Fraud Protection Alert Email Scam - A Scammer is Phishing for Your Identity

Identity Theft Scams
The American Express "Fraud Protection Alert" Scam
Redirects to spoofed (Fake) website: a variety of URLs, including

You may have received an email like the one below that looks very authentic, like it came from American Express, or a phone call about the same subject. It is an attempt to get you to enter confidential information (typically a social security number, name, address, bank account information, etc., to allow the scammers to steal your identity and open credit cards in your name.

This email was not sent by American Express; American Express  is a victim as well. This is referred to as spoofing (making a fake email that looks legitimate, "phishing" (when by email) or "vishing" (when by telephone). If you receive an email similar to the one below, DO NOT click on the link, and do not enter any information on the forms there.

The website that the link leads to is a spoof; a fake website, not created by American Express. It goes to a variety of URLs, including, not! When you enter the information they ask for, you will simply be handing the thieves the keys to your bank accounts.  That is how spoofing, phishing and vishing works.

Remember, no reputable business would send you an email or a phone call requesting your personal account information. Any such email you receive asking for this information should be considered phony and brought to the attention of the business being 'phished'.

Anytime you need to go to a website for your bank, credit card companies or other personal, financial or confidential information; do not follow a link in an email; just type their address in your browser directly (such as )

Below are actual phishing emails that started circulating in early 2012. We have disabled the links to the phisher's website, which is a variety of URLs, including

It is possible that the owners of the website ( are not involved, and that their server has been hacked, but the fact remains that this is the address the scam  goes to. See this page for another variation of the scam

----- Forwarded message -----
From: "American Express" <>
Date: Mon, Apr 23, 2012 11:45 am
Subject: Fraud Protection Alert
To: <your email address>

Fraud Protection Alert.


For your security, we regularly monitor accounts for possible fraudulent activity. Please review the attempted charge below which occurred within minutes of the timestamp of this message.

Transaction Date: 04/23/12

Merchant: WALMART

Amount: 3285.83

Currency: USD

Case Number: 57685


Please verify these attempted charges using our Secure Online Chat or please log in to to dispute it. If we've already spoken to you about this matter, please disregard this message. No further action is required.

Thank you for your Cardmembership.


American Express Account Security

Fraud Prevention Network

For your security:

Contact Customer Service | View Our Privacy Statement | Add Us to Your Address Book
Your Cardmember information is included in the upper-right corner to help you recognize this as a customer service e-mail from American Express. To learn more about e-mail security or report a suspicious e-mail, please visit us at We kindly ask you not to reply to this e-mail but instead contact us securely via the customer service link above.

Copyright 2012 American Express Company. All rights reserved.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is an attempt by an individual or group to solicit personal information from unsuspecting users by employing social engineering techniques. Phishing emails are crafted to appear as if they have been sent from a legitimate organization or known individual. These emails often attempt to entice users to click on a link that will take the user to a fraudulent website that appears legitimate. The user then may be asked to provide personal information such as account usernames and passwords that can further expose them to future compromises. Additionally, these fraudulent websites may contain malicious code.

Learn More About Phishing

The following documents and websites can help you learn more about phishing and how to protect yourself against phishing attacks.

Methods of Reporting Phishing Email to US-CERT

  • In Outlook Express, you can create a new message and drag and drop the phishing email into the new message. Address the message to  and send it.
  • In Outlook Express you can also open the email message* and select File > Properties > Details. The email headers will appear. You can copy these as you normally copy text and include it in a new message .
  • If you cannot forward the email message, at a minimum, please send the URL of the phishing website.

* If the suspicious mail in question includes a file attachment, it is safer to simply highlight the message and forward it. Some configurations, especially in Windows environments, may allow the execution of arbitrary code upon opening and viewing a malicious email message.

For more information about phishing, see this page.



For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.