State Police in Connecticut are warning residents not to bite the bait as a “phishing” scheme makes the rounds in the area.
An alert was issued by state police involving the latest scam to hit the area, which is typically carried out by email spoofing or text messaging, directing people to enter personal information on a fake website that looks legitimate. Emails may also contain links to websites that will distribute malware.
Police said that phishing is “when a scammer attempts to contact you through phone calls, emails, text messages or copycat websites in an attempt to get you to provide them with either money or valuable personal information. In cases where personal information is obtained, scammers can use your information to not only steal your identity, but steal your money.”
Scammers have the tools to target anyone, police noted, and can often play on one’s fears. They often will use ploys about loved ones in the hospital in jail who are in need of money. Scammers can also send fake text messages that appear authentic. There have been reports of messages that appear as if they were sent by a bank, utility company, Internet provider or the IRS.
To avoid being the next victim of a scam police said that residents should:
- Avoid opening any email or text message links from any suspicious or unknown people;
- Avoid providing usernames, credit cards or passwords to unknown people;
- Delete suspicious text messages or emails;
- Ignore calls from unknown numbers and;
- Not provide gift card or money card information as forms of payment. Legitimate businesses do not ask for gift cards as a form of payment.
Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods of obtaining information. Ultimately if an agency plans to contact you regarding taxes, criminal activity or involvement, immigration status, the communication will be done in written form and sent through postal service mail.
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