RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Scammers have long used impersonation to try and trick you into giving up cash or personal information, but now with people starting to wise up to their schemes – they’re trying a new tactic.
In a bizarre twist, criminals are warning you about scams to make their fraudulent scheme look more legit.
The internet is full of shady individuals, and now scammers are using your fear of being scammed to trick you.
“Scammers are now scamming people by talking about potential scams,” said the BBB’s Alyssa Parker.
The technique is just another form of phishing
Here’s an example.
You get an email that looks like it’s from FedEx saying your package could not be delivered to you.
The email includes a huge red banner across the top of the page containing a warning “to be careful because similar messages have been used to steal people’s information.”
The warning on that email advises you “not to click links if you don’t trust the sender.”
The email contains a link for you to click to inquire about your package. But the email is not from FedEx. It’s a scam and the warning is there to put you at ease that the phony email is legit.
“Scammers are great at what they do,” said Parker. “They can take any sort of logo, copy and paste it and make it seem legit when it’s not.”
When you dig deeper into the FedEx package delivery email, you can see why it’s a fake.
The sender in the URL address is not FedEx.com, but some bogus email address that has no connection to the shipping giant.
That incorrect email address is your red flag.
“Oftentimes scammers may not be from this country and English isn’t their first language,” said Parker.
The problems with English showed up in a recent text message supposedly from AT&T promising a $100 gift to make up for a supposed “service interruption.”
If you look closely at the words in the graphic offering the cash, you’ll see the word apologize is spelled wrong (It’s written as appologize with two p’s).
Also, the word temporary is spelled incorrectly. The scammer forgot the R spelling it as tempoay.
They use “effected” instead of the grammatically correct “affected” when talking about how many customers were impacted by service interruption.
Those spelling and grammar errors are your red flag!
The text message offering the cash gift also contains a link to a so-called survey. If you click the survey link, it will take you to a site asking you for personal information.
“The big difference between a scammer using a company logo and a real company is that a real company will never ask for personal information or banking info,” said Parker.
The best advice, ignore all unsolicited calls, emails and text messages–especially if the emails or texts have links in them.
It just takes one slip to compromise your identity.
If you want to know about other ways to identify phishing email attempts, you can click here.