Cybercrime is nothing new and phishing scams have claimed victims all over the world for years.
The latest hitting Lethbridge is an email scam that’s using the name of a business to lure unsuspecting victims to fork over money.
The email appears to come from an actual employee at Simpson Plumbing asking for payment on an overdue invoice, in the form of an online link asking for an email address.
Only, when some people called the number at the bottom of the email for clarification, it wasn’t Simpson Plumbing who answered.
The number actually belongs to a Lethbridge resident who was surprised to be flooded with dozens of calls.
Given that she’s already been roped into the scam she asked to remain anonymous.
“They were asking for another person’s name at the plumbing company and I told them it wasn’t me,” said the resident. “I [didn’t talk] to everyone who called me because it just got to the point where I thought well they’re going to realize I’m not a plumbing company if they hear my voicemail.”
Simpson Plumbing didn’t want to appear on camera Thursday, instead issuing a statement, which reads as follows:
“Simpson Plumbing is aware of a targeted virus that came through our protected servers and obtained email addresses of some of our people and clients within our network. We have our I.T. department working diligently to clear this issue and re-determine our risk analysis in the future.
Simpson Plumbing would like to thank our clients and the people that have reached out to make us aware of this issue. We are working on a coarse of action to maintain the trust that our customers and clients have put with us for many years.”
Some people are now seeing a warning screen when they click on the link, citing a ‘deceptive site ahead’.
“Unless you are one hundred per cent certain of the origin of this email and that clicking a certain link is safe, we just tell people to avoid those embedded links altogether,” Dan Shurtz, of the Lethbridge Police Economics Crime unit, said. “Every few years the same ones come back with a fresh coat of paint. They look a little bit different. As the technology changes scams change and evolve with it.”
If you have received a phishing scam email, but haven’t suffered any loss, Lethbridge Police encourage residents to report them to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre.
If you have suffered loss, LPS encourage residents to contact their bank and notify local law enforcement.
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