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Watch For Scams Newsletter. AOL Scam
September 07, 2010
Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
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AOL ScamThere is an email circulating that appears to originate from AOL but is a phishing scam designed to trick you into providing private financial and personal information to scammers.
The email states:
Dear Valued AOL Member,
It has come to our attension that your AOL records information are out of date . We were unable to process your most recent payment.
Did you recently change your bank, phone number or credit card ? To ensure that your service will not be interrupted, please update your billing information NOW by visiting the new AOL small business system .
[Link to a fake AOL website]
PLEASE, NOTE THAT FAILURE TO VERIFY YOUR RECORDS WILL RESULT IN ACCOUNT SUSPENSION .
Sincerely, AOL Member Services Team P.S. The link in this massage will be expired within 24 Hours . You have to update your payment information before that time .
The email that appears to come from AOL claims that your AOL account is about to be blocked due to a payment processing problem. The email claims that your billing information appears to be out of date, and you are required to update this information within 24 hours.
You are urged to click a link in the email in order to visit the AOL website and provide the requested information.
The email is a phishing scam that is designed to steal your personal and financial information. If you follow the link in the message you will be taken to a fake website that asks for your information such as your name, credit card number, banking and address details. Any information entered into the form on the fake website can be used to commit credit card fraud and identity theft.
To make the email look authentic, it appears to have genuine AOL graphics, logos and copyright notices. The scammers can easily copy these from the genuine sites so don't be fooled by what appears to be a legitimate website because of the graphics. Very often poor spelling gives the site away, along with an urgency to comply.
Always be cautious of any email that claims that you must urgently provide personal or financial information by following a link in the message, or by opening an attached file.
Do not logon to your online accounts by clicking a link in an unsolicited email. Type the web address in your browser's address bar, and always ensure that the page is a secure (https) site. No legitimate service provider will ask for your login or personal information using an insecure (http rather than https) webpage. If you are using a secure (https) page, a "lock" icon should be displayed in your browser's status bar or in the address field or on the bottom of you page.
If you have been a victim of this type of scam or any other Cyber crime, you can report it to the IC3 website at: www.IC3.gov. The IC3 complaint database links complaints for potential referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration. Complaint information is also used to identity emerging trends and patterns.
Remember - always watch for scams!
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