The 31 Forms of Identity Theft– Email Scams

#27 Email Scams 

Often, scammers will use email in order to trick you into divulging to them your personal information. They may attempt to steal your account passwords, Social Security number, and/or account numbers. Phishing is the single most popular way that attackers attempt to steal your information. They seek to gain trust by purporting to be a friendly or familiar entity or person. They then gather confidential information by leveraging this perceived trust.

A fraudulent request made by criminals who pretend to be from Apple’s customer support team is one of the most effective phishing schemes. This scam often takes the form of enabling unwitting users to update their profile information by saying that doing so improves safety. The criminals can then exploit that newly acquired confidential information for a number of purposes. The majority of victims of this scam when interviewed stated that they knew about the basics of phishing scams and what to be on the lookout for, however, with the growing sophistication and boldness of cybersecurity criminals, it has become more difficult to be aware and alert to the plethora of new techniques.

Typically, when an individual opens the phishing email, the user is prompted to click on a connection or to open or download an attachment file. This is where the criminal will usually begin their gathering of confidential information. You can endanger yourself by unintentionally clicking a link to a spoofed landing page where you might be tricked into providing your banking contact information, or by installing/downloading to your device an attachment containing malware.

Phishing emails will trick you into clicking a link or opening an attachment. Here are some common lines that criminals to use in email phishing scams:

  • “We believe there was a suspicious login attempt or behavior on your account.”
  • “There was a problem with the payment for your account.”
  • “Please confirm your personal information.”
  • A realistic invoice is sent to you and they want you to click on a button to make a payment.
  • “You’re eligible for a tax refund.”
  • “Apply for your unemployment benefits.”
  • “Here’s a coupon for a free service.” 

Credit monitoring will not alert you to this type of fraud but not every time. 

 LibertyID will take the following steps for/with their members:

  • Place fraud alerts at all three credit reporting agencies
  • Place credit freezes at all three credit reporting agencies, if appropriate
  • Email scams have different targets, so the steps that need to be taken for each restoration may vary.
  • Some email scams will take more steps than are listed here, but there is no limit to the time or effort that we will spend to resolve each case.
  • Review credit reports with the victim to ensure there is no identity theft has taken place according to the three credit report bureaus
  • Provide single bureau credit monitoring with alerts for 12 months
  • Periodically contact the member throughout the 12 months following if warranted.