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What Insurance Agents can Learn from Phishing Websites

May 6th, 2010Posted by akassover in Insurance Agent Websites, Sales

“I’ve had a terrible day. I did something really stupid this morning…”

That’s how the phone call from my dad began yesterday. It turns out during his morning email review, he received what he thought was a message from his bank asking him to update his account information. He clicked on the link, was taken to what he thought was the bank’s website, and proceeded to input all kinds of personal information. We’re talking pins, account numbers, mother’s maiden name…

After a few minutes on the website, he began to notice things were a little off. Nothing major, just a typo here, some improper grammar there, a section out of alignment somewhere. When he started adding these clues up, he slowly came to a very bad realization: he had fallen victim to a phishing scam.

The moral of the story is not that you should NEVER click on an email from any financial institution claiming it needs sensitive account information. We already know that (ahem, dad). Instead, the moral of the story lies in the clues that gave way to my dad realizing he’d been had – the typos, grammar errors, and bad page layout.

As the general public is becoming more experienced with the web, they’re getting more and more sensitive to the small clues that separate a quality, legitimate, website from a fly-by-night scam. One of the most important functions of your insurance agent website is to build trust. To succeed, it must look 100% professional. No matter what type of insurance you sell, as your visitors move through the process of doing business with you, they’re going to expose you to a lot of very sensitive information. They absolutely must trust you if you are going to get their business. If your website gives them any reason whatsoever to question your level of professionalism, you can expect them to move on.

Please learn from my dad’s mistake! If you want people to trust you, make sure your website reflects your professionalism.

And, by the way, in case you’re wondering how things turned out for my click-happy pops, looks like he saved himself by realizing right away that he’d been had. He spent the day yesterday at the bank where they had him close all of his accounts and open new ones. This time, luck was on his side.