With the holiday season upon us, more companies are sending customers information about great deals for last-minute shopping. Unfortunately, among those exciting offers comes the threat of illegitimate emails and text messages that try to take advantage of trusting shoppers.
In an effort to equip consumers with the tools they need to stay safe, AT&T offers these tips to stay in-the-know about these scams.
How to identify scams
- Be wary of any email requesting personal and/or financial information. AT&T does not send email requests to customers asking for personal account or credit card information. Most other reputable organizations do not either.
- If you receive an email message that appears to come from AT&T and asks you to provide your email ID, email password, social security number, or other personal information, do not reply to it and do not provide your account information or password. Simply delete the email or forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you receive a text message that asks you to call a number you don’t recognize or go to a web site to enter personal information, do not select the link embedded in the message. Simply delete the text message.
- To report spam received on your phone, text us the actual spam message to short code 7726 (SPAM) to start an investigation.
- For other organizations, call before responding to any email that asks for personal information. They should be able to verify with you on the phone whether the email is legitimately from their organization.
Tips to protect yourself
- Be aware that email headers can be forged easily, so the posing sender may not be the real sender.
- In your browser’s address bar, make sure that the website’s address begins with “HTTPS,” and that a lock icon appears. You can click the icon to view security information and certificate details.
- Realize that Internet scammers can create realistic forgeries of websites, so avoid clicking on links in an unsolicited email message. Go directly to the company’s website and fill out information there or call the company to verify that they are seeking information from you.
Report fraudulent emails
- Contact the company named in the email to confirm whether it sent the request. Most companies do not ask customers to confirm personal information by sending an email.
- Forward the suspicious email to the Federal Trade Commission at email@example.com.
- You can also report the problem to law enforcement agencies through NCL’s Fraud Center, www.fraud.org.