I received an email titled "URGENT: Your VbV VISA Password has expired!" The email reads (in an image):

VISA Verified by Visa® (VbV) Service

Verified by Visa (VbV) is a global online authentication service that makes online shopping more secure for both Visa merchants and cardholders.

Dear Cardholder,
Your VbV Password has expired. You are required to login to the VISA site and select a new password.
Please click the 'go' button below to access the VISA site where you will be prompted to enter your email address.
[VISA logo and footer]

Is it legitimate?


4 Answers 4


It's a fake! Don't fall for it or you'll regret it!

This is a classic example of what is called a phishing attack.

A phishing attack is a form of social engineering or pretexting where you are led to believe through an official-looking email that the notice is from a legitimate source when, in fact, it is not.

Cyber-criminals and online organized crime try to use phishing attacks to trick you into revealing your credit card number, your bank account information, your Social Security Number (SSN, United States) or Social Insurance Number (SIN, Canada) or any other kind of personal information.

Your bank, credit card company, or other financial account provider should never ask you in an email to visit their site through a link provided in the email.

Never trust a hyperlink provided in an email — odds are good it leads to a fake site created by criminals!

When in doubt about such a message, don't click anything.
Contact your financial service provider by phone to inquire.

  • 1
    Note: I posted this question and answer as a public service -- to help people recognize these types of scams. Most of you are already familiar with phishing and how to guard against it, but some may not be. Jan 8, 2010 at 20:52

Its fake,

If the banks have any issues with you they will mail a letter to you, or even phone call you but they will never ask you things like that via email.

Just to add, with the changes to internet URLs being introduced, such as allowing non-standard alphabets, this will make phishing a hell of a lot worse. For example the Russian alphabet has letters similar to the latin one, so it will be easier to disguise nasty links..


A good practice is to never provide personal information or login information to a website that you opened from a link in an e-mail.

In situations where you are unsure if the e-mail is legitimate, just open your browser and go to the web-site separately using the URL you normally use (not the one in the e-mail). If the e-mail was real, you should see the same warning/info when you log into your account.

  • It's also an advantage to a password filler. They won't fall for the tricks the phisers use to make the URLs look legit. Aug 16, 2014 at 3:33

My experience that a bank or a credit card company would never contact you in email asking anything to do, so I never ever click on an email I do not know or asking for sensitive information

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