These days it has become so difficult to avoid getting scammed by bad people through computers and telephones.  The scam looks so real that you're almost completely sure it's coming from a. credible source. Unfortunately, it's coming from people who want to steal from you.

Here's an actual scam that I received on my phone just yesterday.

The Better Business Bureau suggests that you never click on an unsolicited link like the one above. The scammer is usually looking for sensitive information by sending you to a website with bad intentions, or it could embed malware onto your phone or computer where it secretly gains information about you without your knowledge or consent. The link could also send you to an 800, 809 or 900 international phone number that could be charging you large amounts of fees, especially in the first minute. The FTC refers to this as the "one ring" phone scam, and it could cost you a lot of money just by clicking on the link.

Watch the video below from the U.S. Postal Service, describing the scam.

If you receive a text message or email that seems suspicious, experts advice consumers to call the carrier. Whether it's UPS, FedEx, USPS, or even Amazon, look up their actual number and call about the message you received. Never click on the provided link in the text message or email.

FedEx has posted a list of scam warning signs on their website.

  • Unexpected requests for money in return for delivery of a package, often with a sense of urgency.
  • Requests for personal and/or financial information.
  • Links to misspelled or slightly altered website addresses (fedx.com, fed-ex.com, etc.)
  • Spelling and grammatical errors or excessive use of capitalization and exclamation points.
  • Claims that you have won a large sum of money in a lottery or settlement.
  • Certificate errors or lack of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for sensitive activities.

If you feel you're receiving a scam via email, there's another trick that consumers can use to make sure the communication is authentic.

On the surface, this email below looks like it's a critical message from Microsoft Office attempting to protect you from a nefarious attack.

When looking at the "sender" it seems like it's from Office 365, but in reality, that is only the sender's alias, or nickname. When you click on the drop-down arrow in the sender's alias it exposes the real email address sending you the communication.

At this point you see the email address of the sender is very suspicious. If you feel it's a pressing issue, find the sender's phone number or contact from their official website, and reply from there. A rule of thumb is that you will recognize the email address, such as: bill.keeler@townsquaremedia.com, and it will usually end with the sender's web address, Townsquaremedia.com. The official web address of Microsoft is www.Microsoft.com, not http://office365-microsoft-notifications.com.

The best rule of all is that if it looks suspicious, don't click on it!

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