Sheriff’s Office Warns of Online Scams
For the City-Times
Authorities from the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about online scams. Chief Deputy Dan Kontos released the following message and tips Tuesday:
Please be very careful about replying to emails from what may appear to be very reputable and well known stores or companies (e.g. Walmart, Target, Amazon, UPS, FedEx) informing you that a package has not been delivered to your address. These scams will often ask you to complete an on-line form, giving these thieves your personal information. Some scams ask you to print out a shipping label, which can infect your computer with a virus or malware.
When in doubt about a delivery, contact the store or shipper directly. Don’t use any on-line methods that an unsolicited email provided to you.
Here are some important warning signs to look for:
1. A strange return email address. Some false emails are sent by generic senders, like “Logistic Services” from “message_id93 [at] placestopost.com”. If the message was legitimate, this email would come from a customer service address with a legitimate domain (e.g. fedex.com.)
2. Phishing emails rarely use your real name or username. The email may say “Dear Client,” not “Dear John” or “Dear Mr. Smith” A generic salutation is always a warning sign. Remember, real companies have your information on file – they’ll address you by your real name, or at least the username you’ve created to log into their site.
3. Sloppy details, bad grammar and/or poor spelling. Companies like Amazon are no poets, but their customer service emails will use better writing than “Your parcel has arrived at December 21.”
Unsolicited email attachments and/or requests for private information. Remember, companies will never send unsolicited emails requesting private information like your password, account numbers, mailing address or other personal info. Never reply to a random email with any private information!
5. Unknown attachments. Never download an attachment or click a link in an email until you’ve examined it closely. Scammers are relying on the fact that we’re often distracted and may overlook the small details.
Complaints of internet scams can be filed with the Internet Crime Complaint center (IC3) at: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.