BBB warns Mid-South of email scams

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 5:34 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South issued a warning about cyber criminals targeting Mid-Southerners with email scams. As the FCC gets tough on those annoying robocalls, crooks are turning to phishing scams, emails that may look legit, but are definitely not.

These crooks aren’t just after your money or your personal information. The latest phishing scams are designed to give them access to your computer and everything in it by installing malware on your devices.

Daniel Irwin with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South said consumers are flooding the BBB Scam Tracker website with complaints about email scams, like the ones that offer free Amazon or PayPal gift cards, free blenders from Walmart or a free drill from Home Depot, and all you have to do is click the link to get it. The McAfee and Norton Antivirus emails have been particularly bothersome to people, avoiding most spam filters and inundating inboxes daily.

“One of the reasons why you’re seeing more emails, is more people are getting hip to robocalls and they’re not answering them, right? So you’re going to see more emails, more text messages as the FCC cracks down on these robocalls,” said Irwin.

He said the BBB has received 119 reports about scam emails so far this year with 61 people falling victim to the phony pitches.

Roslyn Fradella, 67, received an email that looked like it was from Norton asking her to renew her antivirus software subscription for the low, low price of $497.

“Trying to steal from people, it just ticks me off,” Fradella told Action News 5. “I have Norton LifeLock and it doesn’t cost that much. I got curious about it and I researched the email real carefully and I saw a few red flags.”

If the email is unsolicited, that’s a major red flag. Other red flags include:

  • Pop-ups on your computer warning a virus has infected your device
  • Messages urging you to call a toll-free number immediately
  • Bad grammar or misspelled words in the email
  • You’re asked to pay for a service with a gift card or wire transfer

“It’s just really important not to click on the links, with this scam or anything else,” said Irwin. “You just don’t want to click on something when you don’t know where it’s come from.”

Fradella did her research, and so should you, so criminals, crooks and creeps don’t get your hard-earned cash.

”It ticked me off,” said Fradella. “The nerve of people trying to bribe and scam people, especially the elderly. It’s sick. I want to put it to an end somehow. There’s got to be a way.”

The BBB said to never call any of the customer service numbers listed in those emails. If you have any questions about a suspicious email, call the BBB of the Mid-South at (901)-759-1300. They have a team of people to help you figure out what’s real and what’s a scam.

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