CONSUMER ALERT — 'Phony utility bill' email scam heating up in Washington state
The above is an example of a utility bill scam email.
By Peninsula Daily News staff
Print This | Email This
Most Popular this week
3RD UPDATE — 76-year-old Port Angeles woman found dead under Eighth Street bridge identified; death confirmed as suicide — corrected
Man who 'built technical backbone' for Chimacum schools, aided Port Townsend Film Festival mourned after death at age 44
Official: Head wound from crossbow bolt killed man found dead at campground south of Port Angeles in February
Federal court upholds protection for threatened marbled murrelets by rejecting timber industry lawsuit
SEATTLE — A new email phishing scam making the rounds nationwide has hit Washington state, and this one is disguised as a utility bill.
Washington consumers have reported receiving emails that appear to be statements from a legitimate utility company, notifying the recipient that their bill is “due upon receipt” or “past due.”
The email message provides a link to “view your most recent bill,” but clicking on the link will instead prompt the download of malware, which will infect your computer.
Malware is software used to disrupt computer operation and gather sensitive information.
According to the Attorney General's consumer experts, these fraudulent messages are just another variation of the common phishing scams — emails that look like they originate from a legitimate company, but are actually designed to obtain personal information or direct you to a website that downloads malware.
While phishing scams come in many different forms, the defense is always the same: Delete these emails and do not click on any links in them or open any attachments.
The Attorney General's Office offers the following tips to avoid being scammed:
Never give out personal or financial information to anyone who emails or calls you.
Hover over the reply address or links in the message (without clicking) to see if it includes your utility providers' company and domain name.
If you are concerned about the notice or the status of your account, contact your utility company directly for assistance, using a number you know to be legitimate.
For additional internet safety tips, advice and information visit the Attorney General's website at http://www.atg.wa.gov/InternetSafety.aspx.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is working hard to protect consumers and seniors against fraud, keep our communities safe, protect our environment and stand up for our veterans. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Last modified: February 26. 2014 11:22PM