A new email phishing scam making the rounds nationwide has hit Washington state, and this one is disguised as a utility bill, the Washington Attorney General's Office stated Wednesday.
Washington consumers have reported receiving emails that appear to be statements from a legitimate utility company, notifying the recipient that their bill is "due upon receipt" or "past due."
The email message provides a link to "view your most recent bill," but clicking on the link will instead prompt the download of malware, which will infect your computer. Malware is software used to disrupt computer operation and gather sensitive information.
According to the Attorney General's consumer experts, these fraudulent messages are just another variation of the common phishing scams — emails that look like they originate from a legitimate company, but are actually designed to obtain personal information or direct you to a website that downloads malware.
Below is an example of one such email:
While phishing scams come in many different forms, the defense is always the same: Delete these emails and do not click on any links in them or open any attachments.
The Attorney General's Office offers the following tips to avoid being scammed:
For additional internet safety tips, advice and information from the Attorney General, visit http://www.atg.wa.gov/InternetSafety.aspx. To contact the Better Business Bureau in your area, log on to www.bbb.org.