ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Chances are you haven’t cleaned out your inbox at work in a while, but be cautious about a fake email telling you your storage limit has been reached.
This scam has been hitting businesses recently, according to the Better Business Bureau.
It starts with employees getting an email that looks like it comes from the company’s IT department. The subject line looks like this, using my name as an example: “firstname.lastname@example.org update required.”
The message says your email has reached capacity, and “you will be blocked from sending and receiving messages.” You’re then supposed to click a link to validate your account and add more storage to your email.
Once you do, you will see a form that asks you to enter your email address and password. Although the scammers make the link look like your email address, the BBB says it “really points to a website with an overseas domain name.”
Once you take the bait, you’ll get another message confirming that the extra storage is now yours, and that the problem has been fixed.
Here’s what’s really going on: The fraudulent IT workers are stealing your email password, which makes you vulnerable to identity theft. It’s yet another type of phishing scheme.
If you’re unsure whether the email is legitimate, best to contact your company’s IT department or internet service provider. But do so directly with contact information you know is accurate.
Which brings up a key reminder when dealing with any kind of phishing scam, business-related or otherwise. Do not click on a link or open files in an unfamiliar email. And remember that scammers can make an email look real by spoofing the address and faking a logo.
Las Cruces residents, this one’s for you.
Fake police officers are making the rounds again, calling city residents and asking for a donation.
In one case, according to the real police, a scammer identified himself as an officer and “even provided a phone number for the unsuspecting victim to call back.”
The department wants you to know that it does not solicit donations in this way. If you get this kind of call, hang up and report it to police at 575-526-0795.
Such a deal.
Have you been approached about a supposed government program that will pay all your monthly bills for an upfront payment or a processing fee?
The catch, of course, is that it’s a scam. And it’s going around in some church communities, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
There simply is no government agency that provides this kind of service, the FTC says.
Let’s say you fall for it and provide the scammers with the needed information and the requested fee. You might be further fooled because an electronic payment shows up as though the bill or bills have just been paid. However, the scammers will soon after cancel the payment.
“You think your bill is paid, but you’re stuck with not only the original bill, but also a late fee because your payment wasn’t actually processed,” the FTC warns.
As if that’s not bad enough, the bad actors now have your bank or credit card information.
Ellen Marks is assistant business editor at the Albuquerque Journal. Contact her 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.