Questionable Emails: What Should You Do?

If you receive an email that sounds too good to be true or appears to be from a legitimate business or federal agency that you were not expecting, do not respond to it. Phishing (“fishing”) is a scam that uses fraudulent email messages to trick consumers into disclosing their credit card, bank account, and/or Social Security numbers, as well as passwords and other sensitive information, or to give the consumers’ computers a virus.

Cybercriminals send out emails pretending to be: people who want you to help them get large sums of money out of a foreign country; people who want you to buy products from a third-party and then resell it to their company at a greatly inflated price; businesses that consumers like you deal with on a regular basis, such as Federal Express, UPS, banks, and credit card companies; or government agencies, such as the Federal Reserve and the IRS. The emails typically either direct the consumer to “update” or “validate” their information to keep their accounts active via a fraudulent website that looks similar to (or exactly like) the legitimate business or direct the consumer to respond in some other manner to a link provided in the email.

Whatever you do, do not follow that link. 

 What are some things to look for?

If you receive a questionable email:

                                                                             Thomas A. Leggette, J.D., Author:

                                                                             Consumer Contracts in Virginia

                                                                             Virginia Continuing Legal Education

This article is not provided for use or reliance by you or any third parties and does not purport to be exhaustive or to render legal advice for your particular situation or any other specific case. It is meant merely to assist you in sharpening the questions you might ask of your legal advisor in your particular case. Please give me a call should you have any questions. (See: Disclaimer)