Spokane woman warns of phishing scam

Protecting yourself from online scammers

SPOKANE, Wash. - Carole McKay is used to receiving those scam emails from long lost relatives and supposed princes from far away lands saying she has inherited a pile of money. There's even been the occasional phone scam from scammers posing as law enforcement officers, stating that her grand-kids are in trouble with the law.

“But this one scared me,” shared Carol.

Last week, she received an email from an alleged collections agency.

“It indicated I had a large amount of money that I had not paid to eBay and they had turned it over to them for collection and if I wanted to avoid the suit that would follow, to please call this number.”

Carol says she was tempted. While she doesn't shop on eBay, her kids do.

She added, “it would have been so easy to call that number.”

But she decided to first call the Better Business Bureau.

Tyler Russell explained, “there absolutely is a pattern with these emails. If you get one, you get 20.”

Tyler said while your spam folder should protect you, more and more we are finding them slip through to our inboxes; and they are pretty convincing.

Before opening any email, ask yourself this question, he says, “you've got to make sure that, are you going to be getting an email from somebody? Do you even bank with the bank that is sending you those emails?” 

Tyler says in most cases, scammers who want your personal information, will create a sense of urgency.
If you are unsure, don't click a link in the email. 
Instead, close the email and open your account in a separate browser.

“If you go to these legitimate websites, websites that have security, you will find that https:// or you will see the lock on the actual website,” he explained.

Really unsure? Open an old email up and compare/contrast. Do the logos look the same? Are there any spelling errors?

Remember no government agency or bank will ask you for personal information by phone or by email.

Added Carol, “check with your Better Business Bureau, check with someone else. Don't jump in first!”

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