• BBB Scam Alert: Compromised account? Think Twice Before You Panic

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    December 15, 2020
    BBB® - Tuesday Tips
    Fraudulent Charge?
    Might Be The Set Up For A Scam
    Con artists use that feeling of alarm to trick victims to acting before they can think. BBB advice? STAY CALM!!! 
    BBB Scam Tracker is seeing reports of a con that claims that your Amazon, Paypal, or other account has been compromised. Scammers hope you’ll panic and fall for their scheme.
    How the Scam Works:
    You receive an email, call, or text message informing you there’s been suspicious activity in your bank or another account, such as Amazon, Netflix, or PayPal. You need to take immediate action to prevent your account from being compromised or to avoid being charged for a fraudulent purchase. Don’t fall for it!
    The email version of this con uses the company’s logo, colors, and language to make the message look just like an official alert. A link in the message leads to a website that asks for your account number, login and password information, or even your Social Security number. If you share this information, you could become the victim of identity theft and fraud. 
    In the phone version, the caller claims to have noticed an expensive charge, which you didn’t make, on your account. Some victims told BBB Scam Tracker that the caller pushed them to download phony “security software” to their phone or computer. This is really malware, which gave scammers access to sensitive information, such as passwords, stored on their devices.
    In other versions, the caller insists you need to buy pre-paid gift or debit cards in order to reverse the fraudulent charges and secure your account. 
    Scammers are also using texts to send the same message, requesting you click on a URL that is provided in the text. This could download malware to your phone.
    How To Spot This Scam
    • Be extra cautious with unsolicited calls, emails, and texts. Don’t be quick to believe claims from unsolicited communications.
    • Understand how businesses handle communications. If you know how disputes and suspicious activity are handled, it will be easier to spot a scam. For example, PayPal clearly states that they will never send you an email asking you for sensitive information like your password or ask you to download attachments or software.
    • Look into the claims. Don’t take action without first verifying the claims. Log into your account or look up the company’s official phone number (check your bill or welcome email) and call them to confirm that there really is a case of suspicious activity associated with your account before you decide what to do.
    • Don’t panic and don’t feel intimidated. Scammers want you to panic. They may use intimidation tactics to pressure you into giving up your personal information or making payments. Legitimate businesses will not intimidate you in this way. Stay calm and think things through before you act.
    • Never give your personal information to strangers. If you aren’t speaking or corresponding with someone you know and trust, don’t give them sensitive information.
    For More Information
    For more advice on how to protect yourself, see the BBB Tip: Phishing Scams and visit BBB.org/AvoidScams.
    If you’ve been targeted with a phishing scam, please report it at BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your reports can help limit scammers’ success in the future.
    BBB of Northwest Florida
    912 E. Gadsden Street
    Pensacola, FL 32501
    Tammy Ward, Communications Director
    tammy@nwfl.bbb.org, (850) 429-0002