Earlier this year, we presented a three-part series on scams — including feedback from the Office on Aging at the College of Southern Idaho and examples from the Federal Trade Commission.
We provided guidance on how to prevent the scam from happening. We continue to receive update alerts from the FTC, local news alerts about phone solicitations, email attachments, and fear tactics. We all need to stay diligent as scams become more sophisticated — it is important to protect yourself.
Note: Many of these are scams that came to my email. Lessons learned and how to spot scammers attempting to get access to your electronic devices are included below.
EFax Fax message — you have received a 6-page fax at 09-23-2018 at 08:37:55 GMT. Your personal reference number is … A “GET FAX” red box is at the bottom of the email. Signed by: efax crew.
Do not open any attachment unless were you expecting a fax. The scam efax email address: email@example.com.
American Express “Hello cardmember. We are pleased to inform you on a timely security report for your American Express profile. At the time of evaluating the report, we discovered issues on your profile. In view of this, Cardmember information needs to be updated and your mandatory effort is required. Take a moment and download complete this form.”
Ignore these emails if you do not have an American Express account. Once you download the form, your computer will give the scammer access to your information. Never download or open attachments unless you know the person sending it. This looks legitimate but it isn’t. Sentence structure and misspelled words were present.
The scam email address: AmericanExpress@pearsoncmg.com.
AT&T “Your cellular bill is all set to be viewed. Dear client, your personal monthly cellular invoice for your account is ready to view. Overall balance: $215.05. Please view your invoice here/download.”
Ignore this email if you do not have AT&T services.
Scam email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apple Inc “Apple ID was used to purchase from Apple Online Store on a laptop or computer that hadn’t previously been used with that ID. You may be getting this email if you reset your security password since your previous purchase. If you made this purchase, please disregard this email. It was only sent to notify you in case you didn’t make the purchase. Click on the link to see the invoice. If you did not make this purchase, we highly recommend that reset your password.”
WOW! This is a new twist as now you are being directed to go to the link if you didn’t buy the item. Now the hacker has your updated information plus any additional questions they may ask to help “reset your security.” No purchase was made; no Apple ID was ever created.
Scam email address: Apple@cybermesa.com.
Report all obvious attempts to access your electronic device as none of the four were legitimate. Tell the Federal Trade Commission online at ftc.gov/complaint or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.
Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scams.