A new Internet e-mail scam is making the rounds in the area. This one seeks to defraud people by telling them they may have already been defrauded.
A Parker resident received the scam e-mail on Tuesday, Feb. 11. The scam e-mail was reported to the Better Business Bureau. Kryistyna Hook of the Lake Havasu City BBB said the scam was also reported to her from someone in Quartzsite.
The individual in Parker received an e-mail that contained an image that bore the logo of Amazon.com. It said his order for a $4,800 television set was on its way to a destination in Arkansas. The image twice listed a number to call if he hadn’t placed that order.
The Parker resident became suspicious when he saw the originating address on the e-mail wasn’t Amazon.com. He did not call the numbers on the image. When he tried to print out the e-mail, the image would not print. He closed the e-mail overnight and re-opened it in the morning. The image and all the information on it has vanished.
When he went to his bank that morning, the Parker resident was told that no actions had been taken on his account and they saw no evidence of any such purchase of a television set. They said it sounded very much like a scam to them.
Hook said the scam reminded her of an e-mail or text message making the rounds that claims to be from FedEx and says there is something wrong with that person’s delivery. Some of those who clicked on the links were taken to a survey page where they were asked to input personal information like credit card numbers.
These two scams are examples of what is called “phishing.” The scammers send out phony e-mails looking for personal information they can use for criminal purposes.
“These scammers come up with new tricks every day, and it’s hard to keep up,” Hook said.
The BBB offers these tips to avoid phishing scams:
- If something sounds suspicious, confirm it by calling the company directly or checking the company website. Don’t click on links in the unexpected e-mail. Type the URL for the company into your browser or do a web search to find the right website.
- Don’t click, download or open anything that comes from an anonymous sender. This is likely an attempt to gain access to your personal information or install malware on your computer.
- Be cautious of generic e-mails. Scammers try to cast a wide net by including little or no specific information in their fake e-mails. Always be wary of unsolicited messages that don’t contain your name, last digits of your account number or other personalizing information.
If you’ve received this or any other suspicious texts or e-mails, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. In the U.S., consider contacting the Internet Crime Complaint Center at IC3.gov or your state attorney general’s office. In Canada, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
“The BBB encourages consumers to be on guard if you receive unsolicited e-mails,” Hook said. “Scammers can make e-mails look like they are from a legitimate business, government agency, or reputable organization, so don’t click unless you are positive links go to a reputable address. You can hover over a link to see if it’s a true destination. Always remember to research before sending the funds. Ask yourself, ‘Is this a person or business I know and trust? Do they have a working customer service number? Where is the company physically located? Would I be making payments through a secure server (https://....com)? Have I checked on bbb.org to see if others have complained? Staying one step ahead by keeping yourself educated as a consumer is key.”