Verizon Warns Customers About New 'Phishing' E-Mail Scams

NEW YORK - Verizon is warning customers to watch out for a new wave of e-mails that ask consumers to supply personal information on fake Web sites designed to look like legitimate Web sites of Verizon and other major companies.

The personal information - for example, social security numbers, driver's license numbers and credit card numbers - can then be used to commit identity theft.  The scam is often referred to as "phishing," and recently it has been on the increase.

"Verizon never sends e-mail messages asking for this type of information," said Jim Matteo, Verizon Security team leader for cyber security.  "This is an old scam, but lately we've seen more of it with more sophisticated phony Web pages that consumers could take to be legitimate."

Verizon security personnel take quick action against the bogus Web sites as soon as possible after becoming aware of them.  The company also works to educate consumers on how to avoid being victimized by these scams.

"Through our own fraud investigation team, we're constantly on the lookout for illegal Web sites and phishing scams." Matteo said.  "In addition, there are a number of ways a consumer can check to see if an e-mail is legitimate.  One way is to look for misspelled words in the original e-mail.  Second, if the Web site reached via the e-mail link asks for personal information, such as your mother's maiden name or bank account information, it's probably a fake.  Verizon does not ask for that type of information in that situation."

Verizon customers can be sure they are actually dealing with Verizon by visiting http://www.verizon.com.

Verizon constantly looks for these and other types of scams, and the company maintains a Web site with information about scams and how to avoid becoming a victim: http://www.verizon.com/alert. From this page, customers can report a scam/fraud by clicking on the "Contact Us" link and then "Send us an e-mail" from the following page.  All scams and frauds are reported to the Verizon Security team through this process.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 59 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 242,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.