Tyler, TX – January 28, 2014 – BetterBusiness Bureau (BBB) Serving Central East Texas is cautioning consumers aboutan email notifying recipients about a “friend’s” upcomingfuneral. The email further instructs the recipient to click a link to view moredetails about the invitation and the ceremony. BBBis advising consumers that this is a bogus invitation intended to downloadmalware to the recipient’s computer. If installed,this malware may connect the infected computer to a botnet and install furthermalware.
BBB contacted the funeral home, who indicated they were aware ofthe malicious emails, but were not aware where they originated. It is believedthe individual(s) sending the emails hijacked what sounded like a trustworthybusiness name. The company has since placed a notice on their website.
Impostor scams can be conducted by email, phonecalls, or at your door. Scam artists pose as companies, government officials, nonprofitorganizations, and friends and relatives to gain access to your financial dataor personal information— sometimes installing malicious viruses on yourcomputer along the way.
“Although impostor scams are nothing new, they are becoming more sophisticated ”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO ofBBB Serving Central East Texas. “One common thread with many scams is theattempt to evoke emotion - fear, excitement, and in this case, alarm andcompassion - so that the potential victim does not make logical decisions,giving the schemer access to the information they are seeking.”
BBB suggests the following tips for consumers to stay safe online:
- Protect your computer and your personal information from malware with a firewall and an anti-virus program; update those programs regularly.
- Update your operating system and web browser software regularly.
- Protect your passwords. Keep them in a secure place. Create passwords that have at least eight characters and use numbers, symbols and letters. Do not use the same password for each online account that you have.
- Back up important files.
- Never click on links or download attachments from individuals or organizations you don’t know.
- If you received this email and clicked on the link or downloaded attachments, your computer information may be compromised. Immediately run anti-malware and anti-virus programs, forward the email to ic3.gov, and contact a reputable computer repair technician to further examine your computer for issues.
For more tips on how to be asavvy consumer, go to bbb.org. To report fraud or unscrupulous businesspractices, call the BBB Hotline: (903)581-8373.