Scam Alert: BBB Warns of an Email Phishing Scam

7/21/2011

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The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a new email scam designed to steal your money. Be on the lookout for an email claiming to be from someone you know who is stuck in another country. They are asking you to give them a loan to pay for their hotel bills and airfare home and request that you respond via email.

“This is yet another phishing scam,” said Paula Fleming, BBB Spokesperson, “all the scammers are doing is using a new ‘hook’ to lure you into wire transferring money to them.”

This email scam will come from someone who you have corresponded with via email before, but their email address may be different. All personal information or signatures within the email will be the same. This is a type of phishing scam, where thieves send emails that appear to be from a trusted contact and try to trick you into providing personal information or sending large sums of money via wire transfer.

If you reply to the email, you will be asked to wire transfer money or to provide your bank account or credit card numbers. The scammer may also reply back with a link where you can supply this information. Do not click on links within scam emails, your computer will almost certainly be infected with malware or spyware viruses that can help the scammers find enough information on your computer hard drive to steal your identity.

The BBB has some simple advice to keep you safe:
  • If you receive an email from someone you know who says they are in trouble, contact that person directly with the number or email address that you have for them.
  • NEVER click on links contained in emails you receive from someone you don’t know, even if the email looks real.
  • NEVER give out personal information over the telephone or online to someone you don’t know.
  • Make sure your computer has up to date, anti-virus software because new scams are created every day.
  • When in doubt, check it out with the BBB. It’s fast, easy and FREE to check on companies out at bbb.org.
For more information the latest scams, please visit bbb.org.

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