Beware Phishing Spam!
I know we hear this all the time but we all need reminders from time to time. I recently received an email from the Better Business Bureau which naturally sparked my interest, especially considering I had never received one from them in the past. The email told me they had received a complaint against my business. I found that particularly odd because this BBB was from New York. Furthermore, who would dare to complain about me? :)
The email instructed me to fill out the attached form and return to them. Obviously I was suspicious from the get-go and I probably should have simply deleted the whole thing but I opened the attached Zip folder. Inside was an executable (.exe) file. DANGER was then flashing in my brain! I know to never click an executable unless I know where the file came from. An executable file is usually used to install something on a PC. I surely didn't want to install whatever this was!
The 'From' address looked legit so I decided to email the guy. Perhaps another mistake. No surprise - that email wasn't delivered but I did receive a message back telling me the email address was phishing spam and I should report it to another email, which I did. Again I was wondering if I should have done so because that email also bounced.
Warning from BBB
One day later I received an actual legit email from the BBB thanking me for writing to them. Even though it looked like my email had bounced, they did receive it and were able to gain tracking information from it. They apparently have been dealing with this for some time now.
I also posted on Facebook when I first received the emails and others shared their experiences. These fake BBB emails are not new. The BBB also provided me with a link to share and warn others. Please check it out. http://bbb.org/us/alert-phishing-scam-looks-like-bbb-email
Manual Virus Scan & Computer Back-up
I have since done a manual virus scan of my computer and double-checked to make sure my virus definitions are up-to-date. I like to do that now and then anyway so this was a good reminder. It's also a good time to double-check my computer's back-up system. The article also mentions monitoring any online accounts such as bank and credit card.
I'm not sure what these people are phishing for. How did they get my email and were they looking to just confirm it or will it lead them to some of my accounts? The good news for me is this wasn't my main email address so if I would begin to see tons of spam, I would stop using the address. However most of us aren't able to do that. Hopefully BBB is able to track down the bad guys and prosecute.
While on the subject of fraud —
I also received a few bogus charges on my credit card last week. One was supposedly from one of those online credit rating services. I called the number on my credit card bill to ask the charge be removed and the guy on the other end said he'd need my credit card number. Uh WHAT? I don't think so! I hung up and called the credit card company. My husband also had a similar exprience several weeks ago so this is obviously another scam going around.
Always check your credit card statements for fraudlent charges and remind others, especially older folks who might let their guard down.
Written by Laura on December 3, 2012