The Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office is warning citizens of a “phishing” scam operating locally.
Under the scam, the suspects send an email or text message purporting to be Verizon representatives and advising the message recipient that his or her Verizon account has been locked. The message asks the recipient to visit the link embedded in the message, which then requests the person to provide personal information such as date of birth, account numbers, bank account and routing numbers and Social Security numbers among other personal information. The link and email generally look legitimate; however, they are not.
The Sheriff’s Office recommends that if you receive emails or texts from companies you do business with, that you do not hit the link embedded in the message. Instead you should retrieve the company’s phone number from a statement you have received and call them, or if you would rather address the matter electronically over the internet, type in the address yourself into the browser and then follow the links from the legitimate website.
Remember these companies already know your account number; they don’t need to ask you for it. This is also true for your other personal information; if they initiate the contact and then start asking you for personal information, it is likely that you are talking to a scammer who will use the information you provide to access your accounts and steal from them.
Lastly, the Sheriff’s Office recommends that you check your bank statements, phone bills, credit card bills and other accounts on a monthly basis and question any charge that does not appear legitimate. The scammers have changed practices and instead of emptying accounts or charging large amounts they are charging smaller amounts in the hope that they will go unnoticed by the victim.
If you believe you have been targeted by this type of scam, call the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office at (503) 325-8635.
Released by:Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator