Tips to Avoid Scammy Emails

This blog details examples of scary, malicious emails that are circulating right now. This information will provide the knowledge you need to stay calm when these emails make it to your inbox.
 

The Scammy Sextortion Email

The first email that is circulating is a sextortion email. The sender claims that they have your username, password, and an incriminating video that they threaten to send to all of your contacts unless you pay a hefty ransom in Bitcoin.

There are some inaccuracies in this email content.
  1. They do not have a video of you.
  2. They do not have all of your usernames and passwords.

At some point, there may have been a breach, and some of your information could have been acquired by a scammer. In some of these scammy emails, there are passwords listed, and they may be a password that you've used in the past.

This scammer is trying to coerce you. They have some bit of information, but they do not have a video. Change your passwords. If you need help with keeping track of usernames and passwords, you can use LastPass.com.
 

The Shared Document Email

The second email that is circulating is “So-and-so is Sharing a Document With You.” It will appear that someone you know is sending this email with a shared document. Obviously, you should wonder, "Why would this person be sending me this invoice, or spreadsheet, or SharePoint Word file?"

This scammer wants you to click on the shared document. They are trying to put ransomware on your machine or phish some of your personal data.

The person from whom this email came may not know that their email has been compromised.

STOP! Don't email them back. Call them on the phone and explain the situation so they can contact their IT department.
 

A Few Helpful Tools

Microsoft provides a tool to help mitigate some of these risks. If you find an email that is simply spam, malicious, or even a scam, you can do the following.
 
  1. Right-click on the email, hover over junk, and you can select block sender. That won’t block every malicious email, but it will block the domain for this email.
  2. Report the message using the “Report Message” button in the Outlook Ribbon. This sends Microsoft a message so they can investigate the situation and start building a strategy on how to combat new scams.

If you or someone at your office click on a link or is concerned about online security or proper spam filtering, your company may be at risk. What you need is a technology partner that can help mitigate these risks and help you in moving forward. Let us know if we can help.
 
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Author

Jennifer L. Kraus, MITS Service Manager
Jennifer L. Kraus

MITS Service Manager

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