December 6, 2018
NALC has received reports of members receiving an email message that appears to come from an NALC email account and includes an NALC logo in its message. The email appears to be endorsing a GoFundMe.com campaign for a sick child and includes a link that takes recipients to PayPal.com and asks them to log in to their account. (A copy of it is at the bottom of this article.)
This is the latest example of a phishing email, which is against the law and an example of fraud.
Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords. The information is then used to access important accounts and can result in identity theft and financial loss.
NALC has alerted GoFundMe and PayPal, and they are looking into the incident. However, the best way to deal with phishing emails is to not fall for them by knowing the warning signs.
NALC does not use email to endorse personal campaigns or solicit funds for such campaigns. Further, banks and other financial institutions will not ask for personal information via email or suspend your account if you do not update your personal details within a certain period of time. Most banks and financial institutions also usually provide an account number or other personal details within the email, which ensures it’s coming from a reliable source.
There also are a number of steps you can take and mindsets you should get into that will keep you from becoming a phishing statistic, including:
- Always check the spelling of the URLs in email links before you click or enter sensitive information.
- Watch out for URL redirects, where you’re subtly sent to a different website with identical design.
- If you receive an email from a source you know but it seems suspicious, contact that source with a new email, rather than just hitting reply.
- Don’t publicly post personal data, like your birthday, vacation plans, or your address or phone number on social media.
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