Stay Alert! Scammers send fake invoices to lure you in
Scammers send emails that look like they're trying to help you because they know you're more likely to click a link within them if you think you're protecting yourself. But, beware! In particular, watch for emails that look like they're coming from large tech companies you likely do business with. The emails say something like, "See the attached invoice for your recent purchase. If you did not authorize this purchase, click on the link below."
Just like other phony emails, this one is designed to get you to click on a link that takes you to a copycat website where you're asked to provide personal information that can be used for identity theft. Or it executes a program that gives scammers access to your computer, where they then install ransomware that prevents you from accessing your own files.
Apple has put out a statement on its website offering tips for determining the legitimacy of emails from them. One is, "Never enter your account information on websites linked from these messages, and never download or open attachments included within them." Apple further states that genuine purchases will be accompanied by a receipt that includes your billing address, something scammers are unlikely to have. You can also review your Apple purchases by separately logging into your Apple account (not using an emailed link) and checking your purchase history. Finally, Apple will never ask you over email to provide your Social Security number, mother's maiden name, credit card number, or similar personal information.
Other tips include:
- Only open attachments if they're expected, and from someone you know, with an email address you've verified.
- Never use an emailed link to access your account. Instead, use a bookmarked URL that you know is valid.
- Use and regularly update security software.
- Regularly back up your files. Scammers count on your ignorance of how they work. Instead, stay informed and stay safe!
©2018 Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc.