The latest wave of phishing scams is making its way across our internet and phones. Scammers try to trick you into giving them data through the use of e-mails and text messages.
Phishing is a cybercrime where criminals pose as legitimate institutions in an attempt to lure sensitive information away from you.
In 2019 alone, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received 467,361 complaints about phishing schemes and scams, which resulted in $3.5 billion in losses to individuals and businesses.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether an e-mail is real or fake—that’s how refined these scams are becoming. Please understand legitimate businesses are not going to request you send them a bunch of gift cards for payment of services.
Never click on links in e-mails and text messages that you were not expecting. When in doubt, look up the business’s phone number and call them directly to confirm. Be wary of e-mails containing information about traffic violations. There is a current phishing scam going around that installs malware and ransomware on your device; it tricks you into downloading a malicious tool by using a legitimate topic. LCSD will also never call you asking for payment for a ticket over the phone. Scam artists can use spoofing techniques to make it look like our agency is calling you. But, be vigilant.
Think you may have been the victim of a phishing attack? Call your local law enforcement agency for guidance and visit: IdentityTheft.gov to find specific steps to take based on the information that you lost.