New Email Scam Gets Personal

4 years 3 months 2 weeks ago January 31, 2013 Jan 31, 2013 Thursday, January 31 2013 Thursday, January 31, 2013 2:22:00 PM CST 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
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri's plan to handle massive budget cuts includes the elimination of about 383 jobs, through... More >>
39 minutes ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 3:52:40 PM CDT in News
(COLUMBIA) - Last week, we talked about inflammation and how it can contribute to weight gain. This week we’re going... More >>
1 hour ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 3:13:00 PM CDT in News
JOPLIN (AP) - Today, on the anniversary of the Joplin tornado that cut a path of destruction through the city... More >>
1 hour ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 2:55:00 PM CDT in News
ST. CHARLES - The trial of the state of Missouri vs. Serghei Comerzan for the death of Missouri State Trooper,... More >>
2 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 1:34:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Police have confirmed one man has life-threatening injuries after a home invasion on Dawn Ridge Road. Police... More >>
3 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 1:21:00 PM CDT in News
MIDDLETOWN – Some farmers in Missouri are beginning to bring back a style of farming first used in the Hanging... More >>
3 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 12:51:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
CAMDENTON, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol has identified a man whose body was found floating in the... More >>
5 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 10:45:00 AM CDT in News
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bill Cosby has arrived at the Pittsburgh courthouse where jury selection in his sexual assault case is... More >>
8 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 7:36:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- Attorney General Josh Hawley is waiting for his legal appeal related to abortion laws to go into effect. ... More >>
9 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 7:21:00 AM CDT in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Police say a man was shot while greeting people at a south Kansas City church. ... More >>
9 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 6:35:00 AM CDT in News
Tel Aviv (AP) - President Donald Trump is opening his first visit to Israel as president. Air Force One... More >>
11 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 4:56:00 AM CDT in News
PORTLAND - A Portland man was arrested in connection to a disturbance that turned into a stabbing Saturday night in... More >>
18 hours ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 9:44:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Fulton Police took two kids into custody after discovering a fire at Fulton Middle School Saturday morning. ... More >>
21 hours ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 6:47:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A crowd gathering outside of The Soul Spot on Rangeline Street led to a shots fired Sunday morning.... More >>
22 hours ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 6:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A man lost his wallet and suffered injuries in a robbery around midnight Sunday. The robbery happened... More >>
23 hours ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 5:21:00 PM CDT in News
NEWBURG - A 12-year-old boy died in a fire in Phelps County Sunday morning. The fire started at a... More >>
1 day ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 4:32:00 PM CDT in News
KINGDOM CITY - The Fire Fighters Memorial Foundation of Missouri honored four state firefighters who passed away on duty with... More >>
1 day ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 2:34:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MU is facing defiance over new and revised University of Missouri campus regulations focused on protesting, which go... More >>
1 day ago May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017 Sunday, May 21 2017 Sunday, May 21, 2017 2:03:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
5pm 68°
6pm 66°
7pm 66°
8pm 63°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:30p
Jeopardy!
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
4:30p
The Cleveland Show
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:00p
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld