Watch out for ever-increasing phishing scams

  • Share:
April 02, 2018

An article from the Delaware Gazette. Scammers are getting more ingenious in ways to separate your personal information from you.

If you’ve ever received an email from someone claiming to be the Prince of Nigeria telling you that you’ve been lucky enough to come into a large sum of money, chances are you’ve been targeted as part of something called a phishing scam.

These types of scams have come about as the internet has grown. Their primary intent is to send a false email that appears real with the aim of accessing information. The worst phishing scams will ask for username and passwords to access bank accounts or credit cards, and social security numbers to lead to identity theft.

Recently, it has come to the Delaware County District Library’s attention that there was a scam targeting university professors by attempting to collect credentials through their university library accounts. This scam explained to users that their library account had expired, and they must click a link to login and reactivate their account.

Of course, this sounds completely believable because, just over the past year, DCDL ran a similar campaign. We explained to users that they could choose to renew their library card online so there was no interruption in their regular library services. Individuals could also call or stop in a branch to renew, but this was another step of added convenience for DCDL patrons.

So, with phishing scams becoming more sophisticated and disguised, how can consumers keep themselves protected? First, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office recommends that consumers never respond to unexpected requests for personal information. Be wary when your bank or government agency requests your personal information over the phone or by email. Your best bet is to hang up or close the email and call the official organization directly to ask if the claim you heard was true.

Second, you can look more closely at the email and find clues that delegitimize it. Check the email address where the message came from. For example, trusted emails from the Delaware library will come from an email address that ends in “@delawarelibrary.org.” The most frequent ones you’ll see are likely from notices@delawarelibrary.org or our director, George Needham.

Additionally, poor grammar is a good giveaway that an email cannot be trusted. Missing words, misspellings and improper punctuation or capitalization are telling signs of a scam. Companies who send email communications generally have a department, or at least several individuals, whose job it is to proofread mass communications.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office recommends calling 800-282-0515 or visiting www.OhioProtects.org if you need help detecting a potential scam. If you ever have questions about the authenticity of communications from the Delaware County District Library, please feel free to give me or our director a call or email. We’ll be happy to help, and we’re always glad you asked! As a reminder, all DCDL locations will be closed this Sunday as we allow our staff a day to celebrate Easter with their families. Locations will be back to their normal operating hours on Monday.

 

Contact:
Phil Liso, Contact
(562) 322-7376