CONSUMER ALERT: Fake Verizon Emails Contain Malicious Links
March 30, 2012
Fake Verizon Emails Contain Malicious Links (PDF)
Contact: Jerad Albracht, 608-224-5007
Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020
Editor’s Note: A screenshot of the fraudulent email is on the second page of the .pdf file linked above.
MADISON – An email that fraudulently claims to come from Verizon Wireless is making the rounds in Wisconsin and could lead to a serious breach of data for consumers who click the links in its text.
The fake Verizon Wireless account email has been sent both to citizens and to businesses. The sender, subject, graphics and text are nearly identical to an actual Verizon message. The scam email claims that the recipient owes a large amount of money on a Verizon account – current versions say more than $900. When a citizen clicks any of the links in the email to learn more, he may unintentionally download malicious software onto his computer or be driven to a site that will harvest his personal information.
Verizon Wireless notes on its website that the company does not send email notices asking for customer payment information, usernames or passwords used to manage accounts.
General safety tips for fraudulent emails:
- Never click links in unsolicited emails.
- Never reply to unsolicited emails.
- Generic greetings are often red flags of a potential scam. If an email opens with “Dear (company name) customer,” it may be a scam.
- Fraudulent emails often create a false sense of urgency. The email may threaten that your account is in jeopardy if you do not log in and update your information immediately.
- Be on the lookout for fake links. If you move your mouse over a link, the URL on your browser or status bar should reflect where the link will send you. Do not click the link if it looks suspicious.
- For information about your account, always contact the company by the phone number or website address listed in a previous bill. When checking your account online, type the website address directly into the browser.
- If you have recently shared your credit card or bank account information in response to an unsolicited email, you should notify your credit card company or bank immediately and discuss whether you should cancel your accounts. In any event, you should carefully monitor your accounts.
- If you provided your Social Security number in response to an unsolicited email, you should contact one of the three national consumer reporting agencies, ask that a fraud alert be placed on your accounts and obtain copies of your credit reports.
For customers who believe that they received this scam message, Verizon recommends that they drag and drop the email or insert the message into a new email and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Customer Service immediately by calling 800-922-0204.