Steve Mnuchin is Calling about Your Social Security Increase! – Not really.
A local consumer just reported a scam call from someone claiming to be Steve Mnuchin US Secretary of the Treasury. The local resident indicated that he said she was on a list of people to receive an increase on their Social Security check, because of where she worked last. He just needed her to verify some information on a short application and asked her to spell her last name, which she didn’t do. She told him she did not give out information over the phone and that he could put the application in the mail to her. He replied that it would take so much longer, and he couldn’t guarantee her check by next month. He also emphasized that the application must go directly to him since he is overseeing this program.
Thankfully, the consumer did not fall for this scam and eventually hung up on the caller. Just like this resident, beware of calls out of the blue from anyone claiming to be a political figure or from a government organization. Think about the caller’s claims or requests from you and ask yourself, “Does this make sense?” Remember, never give out personal or financial information over the phone or online to callers unless you’ve initiated the call using a trusted source for the number. Simply hang up if you are asked to provide this information.
Amazon Prime Does Not Want You to Fill Out a Form
Another local resident received an email supposedly from Amazon asking him to update his credit card information by filling out a PDF form and uploading it to the link provided in the email. Here’s a copy of the text so you can see for yourself.
Your Amazon Prime Membership is set to renew on June 2, 2020. However, we’ve noticed that the card associated with your Prime membership is no longer valid. To update the default card or choose a new one for your membership, Please find the document attached and follow the on-screen instructions. To prevent interruption of your benefits, we will try charging other active cards associated with your Amazon account if we can’t charge your default card. If we can’t process the charge for your membership fee, your Amazon Prime benefits will be suspended. Sincerely, The Amazon Prime Team
So how do you know this is a fake email? Here are some tell-tale signs that an email is not legitimate.
- It’s sent with a fake Amazon email address. The true domain name for Amazon is amazon.com, not service-amazon.com.
- It’s generic in nature and doesn’t include your name.
- There are grammatical and spelling errors.
- The email encourages you to open an attachment.
Avoid Falling for Email Phishing Scams
- Never click on links or download attachments from unknown emails. Out-of-the-blue emails are often an attempt to download malware to your computer and/or steal your personal information.
- Don’t take unsolicited emails at face value. Scammers often send out mass emails that contain little or no personal information. If the email doesn’t mention you by name or include any personal information, be wary.
- Hover on links to see their destination. Before clicking, place your mouse over links to discover their true destination.
- Go to the source. Whenever possible, use the customer service information that was provided to you when you made your purchase, rather than searching online. Amazon Security & Privacy Tips specifically state “If the “from” line of the email contains an Internet Service Provider (ISP) other than @amazon.com, then it’s a fraudulent email.”
Source: BBB.org & Amazon.com