Scam Watch: 'Verified by Visa' con

Published by Rebecca Rutt on 06 December 2011.
Last updated on 09 June 2015

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Several Moneywise readers have contacted us regarding emails purporting to be from Verified by Visa.

These phishing emails usually include a mixture of fake and genuine information and ask the recipient to set a new secure password for their Verified by Visa account.

The emails can also include links asking for security data or personal information. This would then allow the fraudster access to the individual’s account.

One email sent to us by a reader had both the MasterCard and Visa logo within it. This immediately rang alarm bells as these are separate companies, and they would not send out a joint email.

The email was addressed "Dear cardholder" instead of a personalised address, and the link included in the email was not properly formatted. However, the web address and phone number were correct and the Visa logo was included making the email look genuine.

A spokesperson from Visa Europe says: "Verified by Visa will never send you an email requesting you to update your details for any reason. If you get one of these emails, it is a scam and you should report it to your card issuer."

For more on the most recent scams we have been alerted to by our readers, read our Scam Watch update


The Verified by Visa service was created to give you extra protection when you buy something online. Before a purchase is confirmed, a window will appear asking the customer to confirm certain security details.

MasterCard has a similar service called ‘Secured by MasterCard’ that works in the same way. If you want to sign up to either service you can do this on the company website.

If you receive an email from Verified by Visa that you suspect is fraudulent do not provide any security or personal details. Instead, contact Visa directly to confirm if the email is genuine or not. You can also forward this email to to be investigated.

If the email is a potential scam from MasterCard, you can forward this to MasterCard at

Have you been scammed? Let the Moneywise Scam Watch team know by emailing

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