Consumer loyalty is tied to trust in a brand. Through the years, we have come to trust certain logos and brands. Marketing and branding teams work very hard to build consumer trust and loyalty. Therein lies the rub. The unscrupulous among us use our trust to lure us in.
We know not to click links that ‘appear’ to be from our bank or our investment firms. Scam artists and spammers are still out there trying to convince us we need to click that link because someone tried to access our bank account. Our financial institutions now tell us they will not communicate with us in this way. Many companies who conduct business on the internet also have provisions for reporting suspicious email and communication. I forward emails to these fraud mailboxes frequently, forever hopeful it will help to minimize the threat in the future.
In recent weeks I have been notified of the following via email:
- You failed to pick up a package at FedEx
- The UPS package with tracking # 457684935322 was undeliverable
- My bank detected fraudulent charges on my credit card
- Please confirm request to reset your pin number
I am now educated and did not fall for it. I did, however, fall for one. I received the standard and familiar email from LinkedIn telling me someone wanted to connect with me. It was actually a name I recognized and I clicked on it. I was whisked away to a Viagra website. I trusted that familiar brand that showed up in my email and I clicked on the all too familiar link.
I hope you will continue to trust in brands that have proven themselves to you and remain ever vigilant in the knowledge that the unscrupulous will try to lure you in through that trust. Better to be safe than sorry. Do not click links in emails – even if you ‘think’ it is from a reliable source.