LAKE PLACID — When Sandy Caligiore opened an email recently that purported to be a bill from Verizon Wireless, something just didn’t look right.
“It looked very authentic, but there were some red flags there,” he said.
For starters, he knew he didn’t owe Verizon more than $1,600.
Looking closely at the “bill,” the Lake Placid man also noticed that it was addressed to several email addresses at the same time. When he saw that, he knew it was a phishing scam.
Others in the North Country have received similar emails, and Verizon has posted a list of warning signs about them:
Generic greetings instead of your name, for example “Dear Verizon customer.”
Incorrect account information. The message may try to frighten you with a large account balance, or it might say someone else has updated your account.
A false sense of urgency. It may threaten you, saying you must update your information immediately or your account will be jeopardized.
Fake links. The email may look legitimate, but then send you to an address that is not.
“Always check where the link is going before you click,” Verizon says. “You can do this by hovering your mouse over it and looking at the URL on your browser or status bar. If it appears suspicious, don’t click on the link.”
Caligiore’s fake bill had all those warning signs.
He called Verizon Wireless customer service, which verified that it was a scam. The person he spoke with said some people had already been victimized by it.
Verizon also has suggestions if your email seems suspicious:
Do not respond to it or click on any links it contains.
In “My Verizon,” under “Profile,” Verizon says, click on “My Documents and Receipts” to view legitimate billing or account notifications.
Verizon offers an internal review of possible scam emails. Drag and drop the message or insert it into a new message and send it to: phishing//