Reader Beth Pickering wanted to make sure everyone is aware of the scam email she received the other day. Fortunately, Beth follows good web safety rules and wasn’t even tempted to click. Let’s check out what she got in her inbox.
The body of the message read:
We received a request from you yesterday to terminate your account permanently and the process
has started by our account team. If you didn’t request this, use the attachment file to cancel the request immediately.
If you actually request to delete your email account, please ignore this email.
Thank you for using our services.”
There’s an attachment included with the message.
This email has so many red flags it could lead a military parade in China. First, look at who it is from. Note the attempt to convince you the message is from the government. But, they never tell you who it’s from.
Also missing: anything telling you what type of account they’re deactivating. A legitimate notice would have an account number. Remember, you would never have to give the account number if they contacted you. The people who sent it would already know who you are.
The instructions to click on the attachment are also highly suspicious. I can’t think of a case where you’d access an account by clicking on an attachment.
This message is counting on initiating a panic response when you see that an account is being deactivated. They’re hoping that you click that attachment while there’s still an adrenaline rush and your brain hasn’t kicked in.
That’s why it is important to not panic. If you get a notice like this, read it carefully. Skip clicking on anything in that message and find the website or a phone number for the agency or business in question. Don’t rely on any information or links in the email. Get the contact information on your own and then check into the matter.
If it doesn’t say who the message is from, you can be sure it’s not legit. And never click on an attachment you weren’t expecting. If it purports to be from someone you know, contact that person to confirm that they actually sent it and find out what it is.