New Email Scam Gets Personal

4 years 3 weeks 4 days 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 — U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., announced Saturday that his regional office space will be relocated from its current... More >>
36 minutes ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:11:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — This weekend Missourians came together to give the Loos family a home makeover. Rhyan Loos, 7, was... More >>
2 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — There is a significant "values gap" between employers and the millennials who work for them, according to a... More >>
2 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 7:05:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Boone County experienced at least a dozen fires Feb. 18, a number that did not surprise fire officials.... More >>
4 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 5:00:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — People from all over mid-Missouri gathered at the Miller Performing Arts Center Saturday to listen to local... More >>
5 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 4:00:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — A crash involving an anhydrous ammonia trailer killed one person in Jefferson City Saturday morning. According... More >>
6 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:44:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Representatives from two East Campus housing associations spoke at the Unified Development Code public forum Saturday and found... More >>
8 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 1:36:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Hundreds of mid-Missourians attended the 6th Annual Fitness for a Cure event Saturday, an event that benefitted the... More >>
9 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 12:01:00 PM CST in News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — A woman has been accused of stabbing a worker at a General Motors plant near St.... More >>
11 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 10:27:08 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — It could soon be legal for travelers to take their booze from the bar to their... More >>
11 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 10:04:05 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA — It all started with a Madden tournament. Columbia College's new president at the time, Scott Dalrymple, challenged students... More >>
13 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 8:39:00 AM CST in News
CAMDEN COUNTY — The Camden County Sheriff's Department has issued a Missing Endangered Person Report for Chad Hawk. Hawk was... More >>
17 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 4:41:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The Boone County Sheriff's Department has noticed a decrease in the number of concealed carry permit applications and... More >>
23 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 10:03:00 PM CST in Top Stories
MOBERLY — A non-profit held an open house Friday for people to learn about a program that helps disabled people... More >>
1 day ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 7:41:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA — When Deronne Wilson arrived at the First State Community Bank, he was expecting a job evaluation. Instead, friends... More >>
1 day ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 7:01:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Residents of Columbia have the chance Saturday to express their opinions in a public forum held by the... More >>
1 day ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 5:52:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City residents will vote in August on whether to raise the city's minimum wage to... More >>
1 day ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Chrystal Sadler never imagined she'd be where she is today. "My mom told me at 15 I'd... More >>
1 day ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 4:08:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
10pm 31°
11pm 31°
12am 31°
1am 30°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
NHL Hockey
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:29p
Saturday Night Live
9:30p
Seinfeld
10:00p
Rules of Engagement
10:30p
Rules of Engagement

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
NHL Hockey
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld