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How marketers help phishers succeed

What would you think if you received the email above? (I used white out on the email address and phone number to protect identities, but the rest of the email is exactly as it was received.) But back to the question. What would you do if you got that email? Would you believe that email was actually from Verizon Wireless? Or would you think it was a fake?

Phishing is a real danger. People are victimized every day. It’s not hard to get someone’s email address or even their phone number. And clearly, it isn’t a stretch to guess their wireless company. Would you believe that email if you received it?

As it turns out, that email was legitimate.

Why are they sending out simple unformatted emails with no logos and links to log into their site? I can only imagine that they just aren’t thinking about phishing attacks.

I understand that. Marketers are thinking about marketing. Customer service people are thinking about customer service. Security people are thinking about security.

That has to change. Phishers survive and victimize the public because there are too many emails like this one being sent. We must all take this threat seriously for the benefit of our customers. If we all would stop sending emails that ask people to click the link to log in, then all of the emails of that type would be from phishers, and we could tell people with a straight face never to click on them. But as long as companies continue to send out legitimate emails that look exactly the same as phishing attempts, people are going to be understandably confused.

Are you still sending out these kinds of emails?

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is a Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also served as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He was a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research and is now a Senior Fellow of The Conference Board. A Certified Speaking Professional, Mike regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide.

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