Fake email warnings about a child predator being in the neighborhood are the latest methods scammers are using to steal personal information, warns the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York. These “community safety” alerts are designed to look official and come right to your inbox. Details courtesy the Buffalo-based Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York:
How the scam works:
You receive an email alert with the subject line “Pedophile alert” or “Alert:
There is a Child-Predator Living Near You!” The email typically states
“you are receiving this email because there may be a risk of sex offender
activity in your area,” or “a child-predator just moved into your
Included in the message is a link to click that says it will take you to the
information. Clicking on the link takes the user to a series of redirected
sites to land on the website for Kids Live Safe, a service that sells localized
reports on sex offenders. But this spam isn’t
actually affiliated with Kids Live Safe.
Once you click on the links, it will infect your computer with malware that
will attempt to search for stored information such as user names, passwords and
credit card numbers. BBB advises people to never click on links in unsolicited
emails. For more information about the URL destination - use your browser to
search for information before you click.
How to spot an email scam:
Check out the “from” field. Scammers can mask email addresses, making them
appear to come from legitimate sources. Look out for email addresses that don’t
match the organization name used in the message.
Typos and grammar. Organization logos and email formats can
easily be copied, but bad grammar and poor writing typically indicate that a
message is a scam.
Check URLs. Hover over a URL to determine its real
destination. Usually, the hyperlink text will say one thing and the link will
point somewhere else.
Personalized emails. Scams often pretend to be personalized, but it
is actually blast emails. If the receiver never signed up for custom email
alerts, the person should not be receiving them.
Be careful with “unsubscribe” options.
It’s better to just delete this type of solicitation. If you choose
unsubscribe, you could open yourself up for more unwanted spam email.
To get information on registered sex offenders in your area, check out
the FBI’s directory of
state databases or the New
York State Sex Offender Registry.
Note: KidsLiveSafe.com is a
BBB accredited business.
For more scam alerts, tips and other information you can trust, visit bbb.org, like us
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