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BBB Warns of Phishing Scams

Scammers are taking advantage of consumers’ online security concerns by sending fake purchase verification emails that appear to come from retailers.
MIDLAND -- Scammers are taking advantage of consumers’ online security concerns by sending fake purchase verification emails that appear to come from retailers. The emails are actually part of a phishing scam designed to trick consumers into believing their accounts have been hacked.

If a consumer follows the link in the email and enters a password, the scammers can take over the consumer’s account with the online retailer or infect the consumer’s computer with malware.

Tips:

BBB offers the following advice to avoid being tricked by phishing scams:

· Click with caution. Only open emails, attachments, and links from people you know. Use anti-virus software regularly and enhance email filters to block threats. Watch out for unsolicited emails that contain misspellings or grammatical errors.

· Don’t believe what you see. It’s easy to steal the colors, logos and headers of an established organization. Hover over any links to see where they lead. Malicious emails may look identical to legitimate websites, but come from a different sender.

· Safeguard your information. Don’t reveal personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. Be wary of any urgent instructions to take specified action such as "Click on the link or your account will be closed."

· Verify email requests. If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, contact the company directly using information provided on an account statement, not information provided in an email.

· Keep software updates current. Having the latest operating system, software, web browsers, anti-virus protection and apps are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.

· If you did get tricked, change your password and credit card info. If you think you’ve entered your password on a malicious website, change your password for the real site immediately. If you entered credit card information on a malicious site or sent the information in a reply email, immediately contact your credit card company and update your credit card information with the online retailer afterward.

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.
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