Crooks continue to impersonate well-known companies to try to steal identities in phishing scams. The BBB is warning consumers about two recent scams that claim to be from Twitter and eBay. Randy Hutchinson, BBB President, received phishing emails in his work email account that purported to be from these two well-known Internet sites.
One email claims to be from eBay, announcing that they’ve launched a new safety initiative called Trusted Security Shield with Identity Confirmation. The email claims it will help protect eBay users from unauthorized listings in that seller’s name. It also states that eBay and PayPal members must install this in order to safely continue using their services. Ironically, it even includes a link to more information on how to protect yourself from scam emails.
The other email says it’s from Twitter. It claims that you have two unread messages from @inordinate and instructs you to click on a link. There’s another link in the email that you are instructed to click on if you think you received the message in error.
Hutchinson has never used either service and recognized the emails as phishing attempts.
According to Phil Arnold, with Computers and Networks, the links in both emails actually redirect you to overseas websites that attempt to download and install hostile software on your computer. This software will infect your computer and attempt to capture your user names, passwords and other critical financial information. With this information, the crooks can commit identity theft and other fraudulent transactions with your online banking and credit cards. In previous instances this software has been used to transfer money overseas via your PayPal account.
The BBB reminds you to never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails - doing so will likely download a virus or other form of malware onto your computer. If you are a member of one of the websites, always manually type in the address of the site to make sure you are on the entity’s real site.