Your inbox is a battlefield and scammers are always coming up with new ways to get your personal information so they can steal your money.
There is a common scam where an email informs you that you have purchased an iPhone or some other item you haven’t actually bought. The email looks legitimate, but Leslie Gaydos and Rob Michaelson explain what is actually happening.
Watch Out For Scam Emails
Rob: Opening my email is always a dice roll, it's always some sort of promotional emails or Amazon delivery notifications or really bills. I don't want to pay, but I'm always on the lookout for those scam emails.
Leslie: That's right, you have to look with a very careful eye. And the Better Business Bureau is warning about emails right now that make it look like you just ordered a new phone and that you're being charged for it and then it's going to stay on there. If you think that you're getting this message in error or if you have any questions or to check your account, click here. You never want to click. Obviously, this is a phishing attempt and the bad guys are trying to get your information by trying to make you think that there's an order that was placed in your name.
How They Get Your Information
Rob: Oh yeah, it's the old "Oh, I totally made a mistake and oh, call us and we'll make it all better." But I assume the person on the other end of the line doesn't have your best interest at heart.
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Leslie: No. And if there's a phone number on there, you don't want to call that phone number either. You just want to ignore these emails. If you call that phone number, you might have someone tell you that they're going to cancel the order and they need to get some personal information for you to do that or they want you to download some sort of app and none of it is good.
And it's also tricky when you're getting one of these seemingly from a company that you do order from all the time. So it pops up, but you have to carefully look at where that email is coming from, and at first glance, it may look like the company that you order from frequently. So take a close look and never act on those emails.
Variations of the Scam
Rob: Yeah, I've got a few of these emails and they look so official. But of course, as we know, it's a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Leslie: There are also emails that say your account has been locked. Click here to get that fixed. There are emails that come in that say, you just won a $250 gift card. Click here to claim your money to claim your reward. If you're suspicious, don't click on anything. Some of these shopping emails do come in during the busiest shopping times of the year, so you just have to be really careful. And if you know you didn't order something and you're getting an email that says you did just step back and do nothing.
Other Signs to Look For
Rob: So of course, we're always on the lookout for scams, Leslie. But when it comes to these phishing emails, what are some red flags to look for?
Leslie: The best thing you can do is to look at where the email is coming from. Click on it and see exactly what the address is. That will clue you in to the fact that it's probably not real. If you get an email that says a charge has been made or your order is shipping and you're questioning that, look at your bank account, see if there is a charge that went through on your bank from from a vendor, or check your credit card statement and see if there's a charge that went through from a vendor. If not, it's probably a scam. Leave it alone. You never want to click on those links or call those numbers. It's just going to lead to bad things, which makes you susceptible to identity theft. So be careful.