Our experts put together these tips to help you keep your information safe as you live your life online.
Fake emails are designed to look like the real thing so that you'll share your information with them thinking you’re interacting with a company you're familiar with. If you get an email you’re not sure about, ask yourself these questions before you do anything.
Do you know who sent the email?
Even if you know the sender, you should still be careful before clicking any links or opening any attachments. If you don't know who sent the email, don’t click any links.
If you know the sender, you can call them directly to see if they sent the message you’re not sure about.
Does the link look right?
Mouse over the link to see where the URL goes. Click the link only if it takes you to a legitimate website.
Do you see grammatical errors?
Scam emails often have grammatical errors.
Does the email include an attachment?
Only open attachments after the sender confirms it's real.
Does the email ask for personal information?
Never give out your personal information in an email.
Does the email use your first name?
If you have a relationship with the company, real emails from them will probably address you by your first name.
Scammers sometimes pretend to be real companies, including Intuit and send customers emails that look similar to ours. Follow these steps to check if an email you got from Intuit about your account is real.
This list includes emails we've sent you about your Intuit Account (notifications about signing in from a new device, password updates, etc.). It won’t include marketing emails, or emails from companies we work with for marketing and customer support.
What we’ll never email you about
What we will email you about
Check out our security notices for up-to-date information on email scams that target Intuit customers. You can search for the subject line of the email you received to see if other customers have reported that email to us. Go to security notices
Scammers may pretend to offer tech support for a nonexistent problem with your computer. They're really after your money or information. Knowing how to tell real customer support from a scam can help you avoid falling for this type of fraud.
How customer support scams work
These scams work by convincing you there’s a problem with your computer — a problem you need tech support to fix. You might see a pop-up on your computer telling you to call a toll-free support number. The pop-ups look real, but they’re not. Fraudsters use company logos to gain your trust.
Instead of a pop-up, you might get a phone call from someone who says they detected a virus on your computer. Either way, don't talk to them. We don't use pop-ups to let you know about problems with your computer. We might call you, but not about an issue with your computer.
Usually these scams work by tricking you into paying for fake tech support services. You likely don't need these services, and they probably won’t do what they say anyway. Sometimes these scams work by convincing you to allow a scammer remote access to your computer. That way, they gain access to sensitive information you have on your computer. They might even threaten to delete or hold your data for ransom if you don't pay them.
Tips on avoiding customer support scams
What can you expect from Intuit
Online scams aren't all the same. They might have funny names, but being a victim of one of these scams is no joke.
Phishing is an internet scam designed to get sensitive information, like your Social Security number, driver’s license, or credit card number.
Not all phishing scams work the same way. Sometimes they try to create a false sense of urgency to get you to respond. Other times they send you an email that seems harmless, and then send you an email asking for your information. They might also try to get you to visit a website that asks you for your username and password. You should only enter your username and password if you’re confident the website is legitimate.
Pharming is a computer scam that redirects clicks you make on a website to a fraudulent site without you knowing.
This scam only works when a fraudster is able to install code on your computer. They usually trick people into installing the code, so you might not know it's there. Following basic security tips will make it harder for anyone to deliver bad code to your computer.
Be extra careful when you enter financial information on a website. To be sure the site is safe, make sure you see an "s" in the "https" part of the address. Look for a lock symbol in your browser's address bar. If the site looks different than the last time you were there, don't click any links until you're sure the site is secure. Pay attention to the domain, too (like the "Intuit" in Intuit.com). Don’t trust the website if it doesn’t look right.
Vishing is a phone scam that works by tricking you into sharing information over the phone.
Fraudsters then can use your information to steal your identity, get access to your financial accounts, or open new accounts you don’t know about. This scam uses social engineering to get information out of you, but there are ways you can help protect yourself.
If you get a call, or an email asking you to call them, look up their customer service number and call that number. Don’t call the number they give you over the phone or in the email if you're not sure it’s legitimate. Forward the email you got to the legitimate company’s customer service or security email address and ask if it's real.
Smishing is a text message scam designed to get information from you.
The text messages have a URL or a phone number. Smishing scams usually try to get you to respond right away. The phone number often goes to an automated voice system. A lot of smishing messages come from a "5000" number. That's a hint that the message might have come over email, not another phone. If you get a message you think might be a smishing scam, don't reply.
Keeping an eye on your credit report is a great way to help ensure your information is safe. If you think you might be a victim of identity theft, you'll want to contact a credit reporting agency right away.
Credit monitoring services
These services are a great way to help protect yourself from identity theft. You can get notifications about your credit report. There are different credit monitoring services out there, so you should make sure to choose the right one for you. You'll want to know exactly what they're monitoring. Do they notify you when someone requests credit information about you? What about if your credit report changes or a new account is opened in your name?
Remember, using a credit monitoring service won't necessarily prevent identity theft, but it can be helpful. Keeping an eye on your credit can help you spot identity theft early. One of the best things you can do to help prevent identity theft is to be careful about the information you share.
Freeze your credit report
You can make it harder for fraudsters to steal your identity by freezing your credit report. When you freeze your credit, no one can access it until you're ready to. You can freeze your credit by sending a written request to the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). They can help you get access to your credit when you need to. There may be fees associated with freezing your credit. Check the credit reporting agencies' websites for more information.
Credit rating organizations
Order a credit report
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Order a credit report
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013-0949
Order a Credit Report
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
It's not always easy to know if a company is legitimate, but there are ways to know what to look for to avoid fake companies or scam websites.
Know who to trust
One of the best ways to protect yourself from fraud is to know who you’re doing business with. Lots of websites look professional and safe, but really aren’t. Knowing what to look for can help you tell the difference between scams and sites you can trust. The Better Business Bureau also has information about online fraud.
What to look out for
What you can do
Tips from the Better Business Bureau
To help you shop safely online, use these common sense tips:
You can make it harder for fraudsters to take advantage of your information with some safety basics. From password recommendations to keeping your computer updated, learn what you can do to stay safe online.
It's important to keep your password secret, but that’s not all you can do to help protect yourself. Use these tips to help keep your online accounts as secure as possible.
Your username and password work together to help keep your accounts secure. Here are some tips for choosing a good username.
Other things to think about
Following basic safety tips can help you keep your information safe.