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Fact check any and all mystery invoices

So you didn’t actually order that $5,794.69 nanocell smart TV?

How about the $500 Microsoft Defender Firewall?

Both are examples of emailed invoices Albuquerque residents received recently for purchases they never made.

One invoice appeared to come from Microsoft and the other from Amazon, but they had this in common: they said the delivery had been shipped, and they included a phone number to call if the order was incorrect. One of the emails also included a link the recipient was supposed to click on.

In one case, an Albuquerque woman called the number given and, upon request, provided her name and email address. She has reported no subsequent problems as a result.

The point of this type of scam is to either solicit money or induce you to turn over personal information.

What to know:

n Amazon says, “If you received correspondence regarding an order you didn’t place, it likely wasn’t from Amazon.com.” You can double-check by going to the legitimate website and checking your orders.

n If you get an Amazon email asking you to update your payment information, be suspicious. Double-check by going to your account and selecting “payment options.” “If you aren’t prompted to update your payment method on that screen, the message isn’t from Amazon,” the company says.

n If the “from” line of the email contains an address other than @amazon.com, it’s a scam.

n As for Microsoft, know that the company usually displays a green shield on the sender’s name. That indicates that the email is coming from Microsoft.

Contact tracing scams

Be aware that scams are infiltrating the contact-tracing effort states are waging to notify people who might have been exposed to COVID-19.

Fake tracers are calling people and misidentifying themselves in an effort to steal your identity and money – or both, the Federal Trade Commission is warning.

It’s a tip-off that you’re facing a rip-off if you hear the following:

n You need to pay the person calling. “Anyone who says you need to pay is a scammer, plain and simple,” the FTC says.

n You need to turn over your Social Security number or financial information, such as bank account or credit card number. There is no need for this, and legitimate tracers won’t ask for it.

n A request to click on any kind of link or download anything in an email.

Contact Ellen Marks at emarks@abqjournal.com or 505-823-3842 if you are aware of what sounds like a scam. To report a scam to law enforcement, contact the New Mexico Consumer Protection Division toll-free at 1-844-255-9210​.

 

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