New Email Scam Gets Personal

5 years 4 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, January 31 2013 Jan 31, 2013 Thursday, January 31, 2013 2:22:00 PM CST January 31, 2013 in News
By: Julia Manning
loading

COLUMBIA - Scam artists are getting personal — using your social media profiles to get you to click. The Better Business Bureau says it's seeing a new trend in email scams. It says it's a phishing scam and it makes it more difficult to tell if your emails are really from people you know.

The BBB says the perpetrators behind this recent wave of scams are using social media sites to acquire personal data like the names of your friend and family members, to help them send you more personalized fraudulent messages.

MU junior Isabel Casal got one of these messages in late January.

"I mean it looked super real," Casal said. "I was skimming through my emails on my phone and when a message from my friend popped up I clicked the link in the message without thinking about it," Casal said.

The message wasn't actually from her friend - and that's exactly how the scam is supposed to work. The Better Business Bureau warned of this specific scam in its January 25 news release. It explained how scammers scan through information on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to find who you are connecting with. If you have this information private, some will even set up fake accounts and friend request you in an attempt to access your personal information.

The BBB said this new phishing technique is more successful than past scam messages because scammers tap into the notion that you may be less suspicious of emails sent from a friend or family member.

Casal said the scam was easy to fall for.

"I get so many emails throughout the day I don't have time to diligently look through each one," Casal said. "When it was from my good friend with a pretty uncommon name I didn't think twice about it."

Clicking the link didn't cause Casal serious damage to her phone but the BBB said falling for the scam on your computer can cause you to download dangerous malware and give scammers the opportunity to gather your personal data.

As scammers continue to get smarter and target individuals with more personal information, the BBB urges everyone to follow these tips:

  • Reevaluate your privacy settings on all social media sites. 
  • Enable login notifications that allow you to know when someone uses a new device to access your account. 
  • Check the "header" field in an email. Your friend's name will show up in the "from" field, but the message won't be sent from their email address. 
  • Don't click on strange links, even from friends.
  • Protect your information when using public Wi-Fi — text "otp" to 32665 to receive a temporary password to login to your Facebook account.

MU Information Technology Spokesman Terry Robb said there has been a recent rise in phishing scams in general. He warned people to take a second look at emails that might look official.

"A lot of the time it looks official but it may not be," Robb said. "The bad guys are just taking HTML, the web language, and putting in an email with logos and other details to make it look real. Don't always trust those things especially if they are asking you for personal information."

Robb said taking the extra step in verifying an email contact is worth the time.

"You can always make a phone call or mail a letter to see if it's legitimate," Robb said. "But never give your private information out over email unless you have initiated the email with someone you know to be true."

Another similar scam sent out to people with University of Missouri email addresses include personal messages from what looks to be a legitimate person, soliciting part-time job positions such as personal aids, shipping assistants, or dog walkers. The University says these scammers are check scammers who will send you a check from fake bank account. Due to the delays in the check processing of banks the cashed checks usually take 5 to 10 days to bounce giving you a false sense of security. The scammer will ask for you to wire partial funds back to them before the check has had full time to be returned unpaid.

Robb said the System has a large spam filter that tries to catch all of the bad messages before they reach students but some like these, make it through the cracks.

If you do click on suspicious link, the BBB advises to run a virus scan on your computer. 

More News

Grid
List
NEW BLOOMFIELD - New Bloomfield citizens are looking for answers after yet another city council meeting was canceled Tuesday. ... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 8:40:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Ryan Lee Gehris said he’s always loved to ride his bike. Lately, that hobby has turned... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 6:39:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
MEXICO - The Audrain County Sheriff's Office arrested two people and accused them of child abuse in Mexico, Missouri, following... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 5:31:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department has a new directory for people with autism, but some people think it shouldn't... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:49:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY – Crews recently broke ground on a new hog farm in Callaway County, and locals have strong opinions... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:06:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C. - More than 600 members of the United Methodist Church have issued a formal church complaint against Attorney... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:01:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Radio Television Digital News Association has named KOMU.com best website in a small market for the second... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 2:48:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A punctured gas line caused large-scale evacuations in the heart of downtown Columbia Tuesday afternoon. Columbia Police... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 2:38:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Cole County judge says there are a few key legal questions to be answered before he... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 1:40:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Juneteenth brings communities together to honor the official ending of slavery in the U.S. One group in Jefferson... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:17:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Democratic Party and a World War II veteran are suing to block the appointment of... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:10:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Trump administration policy to force separation of migrant children and parents at the U.S.-Mexico... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 7:58:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Monday began Summer Safety Week and local programs are helping those in danger of not being able to... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 5:54:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Democratic political action committee is targeting Republican Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley for not... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 4:22:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - Former Gov. Eric Greitens' attorneys will meet with lawyers Tuesday to discuss his use of the Confide... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:00:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump announced Monday he is directing the Pentagon to create a new "Space Force" as... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 7:08:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri democrats want Governor Mike Parson fire his chief operating officer and cancel a contract awarded to... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missouri air conditioning companies are facing the busiest time of year amid a four-day heat advisory. Craig... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 5:16:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
11pm 74°
12am 73°
1am 74°
2am 73°