Beware of Email Scams
Be cautious - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has three important recommendations that might save you, the consumer, from being ripped off.
- Don’t text back. Legitimate companies won’t ask you to verify your identity through unsecured channels, like text or email.
- Don’t click on any links within the message. Links can install malware on your device and take you to spoof sites to try to get your information.
- Report the message to your cell phone carrier’s spam text reporting number. If you’re an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, or Bell customer, you can forward the text to 7726 (SPAM) free of charge.
The best advice might be to forward any suspicious emails or texts to the FTC via [email protected]. The FTC recommends that you also cc: the organization impersonated in the email/message -- a step that might give the scammer some pause before going ahead with their scheme.
If at all possible, include the full email header. Header information is typically hidden, but a quick search for “full email header” and the name of your email service (for example, Yahoo) will give you the steps necessary to find that information.
If you think you clicked a link or opened an attachment that downloaded harmful software:
- Update your computer's security software.
- Then run a scan and delete anything it identifies as a problem.
- Learn more about how to get fewer spam emails at ftc.gov/spam
If you think a scammer has your information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number:
- Go to IdentityTheft.gov. Look for specific steps to take based on the information that you lost.
If you gave your username and password to a scammer:
- Change your password right away. If you use the same password for other accounts or sites, change it there, too. Create a new password that is strong.
If someone calls and offers to "help" you recover money you have already lost:
- Don't give them money or personal information. You are probably dealing with a fake refund scam.
- Learn more about different scams and how to recovery from them at ftc.gov/scams.