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How to protect yourself from phishing

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a common scam where fraudsters send emails pretending to come from a bank, credit card company or other trusted organisation. They usually try to trick you into clicking on a link to go to the site (often to update your password to avoid your account being suspended). If you click the link in the email you’ll actually be taken to a website that looks genuine - but is actually a fake site designed to trick you into entering personal information such as log-in details, password, account number, etc.

If you receive an email relating to American Express that you believe could be fraudulent, immediately forward it to AUemailfraud@americanexpress.com. Please do not include your account number in the email.

If you feel your American Express account information has been compromised, please contact American Express immediately by calling the number on the back of your Card.

10 ways to help protect yourself from phishing scams


  1. Never release your Card number, Card security code, PIN or password to an unknown person or organisation.
  2. Beware of anyone calling or emailing you and requesting security information. If you are unsure about the identity of a caller, phone American Express using the number on your Card or statement.
  3. Fake emails can often (but not always) be spotted in the following ways:
    1. The sender’s email address is different from the real organisation’s website address.
    2. The email is sent from a completely different address or a free webmail address.
    3. The email does not use your proper name, but uses a non-specific greeting such as “Dear customer”.
    4. They want you to act urgently – i.e. that unless you do something right away, your account may be closed or suspended.
    5. The email contains a request for personal information such as username, password or bank details.
  4. Keep your anti-virus software, firewall and security patches up-to-date to prevent fraudsters accessing your details via your computer.
  5. Do not open emails which you suspect as being spam.
  6. Do not respond to emails from unknown sources or open their attachments.
  7. If you are suspicious of an email, you can check if it is on a list of known spam and scam emails that some internet security vendors feature on their websites.
  8. Most email clients come with spam filtering as standard. Ensure yours is switched on. Most spam and junk filters can be set to allow email to be received from trusted sources, and blocked from untrusted sources.
  9. Think before you click on links in emails from unknown sources. Instead, roll your mouse pointer over the link to reveal its true destination. Beware if this is different from what is displayed in the text of the link from the email.
  10. When choosing a webmail account such as Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail, make sure you select one that includes spam filtering and that it remains switched on.

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