Look out for this scam targeting USAA customers

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Peter Reft)

If you’re a customer of one of the military’s most popular banks and you receive an email about a possible security issue, check it over twice before you click anything.

A fraudulent phishing scam operating under the guise of a USAA security alert email has been hitting people’s email inboxes in the hopes of gathering sensitive information.




From the very start, this email seems legitimate. However, a close examination shows a few glaring errors.

For starters, let’s look at the title- those who completed Junior High English will know that “prefrences” is misspelled, whereas the proper spelling is “preferences.” In addition to that glaring error, the grammar usage in the email reflects that of someone who speaks English as a second language.

Secondly, the sender’s address (codewizard@approject.com) is not affiliated with USAA, which right off the bat should be a dead giveaway. In an age where scammers try and mimic legitimate sites and institutions, this is one area that is harder for them to blend in.

The other clues might be easily overlooked if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Fortunately, Popular Military was able to get a hold of Alex from USAA’s Member Security Department.

Alex informed us that the greeting line -”Dear USAA Customer”- is an immediate red flag, as USAA will address their members by their name and title (e.g. Lieutenant Jones). The other giveaway is what link you see when you hover your cursor over the “Click here to Validate your Account” option- it goes to somewhere other than USAA.

Unfortunately, fake emails related to banks and other businesses happen fairly often and the usage of false pretenses to obtain information from the less than vigilant is a common tactic.

However, Alex informed Popular Military that USAA protects its 11+ million members with both mandatory and optional additional security protocols, as well as enhanced encryption. USAA members subject to fraud will receive a complete reversal and will not be held liable for cases of fraud.

So next time you get an email that claims it requires personal information or updating of your security preferences, give it a once over- the extra effort might save you a bit of headache.

© 2016 Bright Mountain Media, Inc.

All rights reserved. The content of this webpage may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written consent of Bright Mountain Media, Inc. which may be contacted at info@brightmountainmedia.com, ticker BMTM.


  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

Post navigation