Many of you may have received emails asking for you to make a purchase of a gift card and keep it confidential as it is a “surprise”. I want to assure you that no member of the BMHA executive is sending out such messages. Instead, someone is using a technique called “spear-phishing” and “social engineering” to trick you into sending money. Please do not reply to these messages, engage with the sender, and forward all messages to [email protected]
Here are a few tips to ensure that you do not become a victim of these frauds:
- Verify the email address of the sender. Do this by hovering over their name and verifying that the email is correct. Many times, fraudsters will change a letter or two to make it seem believable.
- Verify the address again when replying to any email. There are ways that fraudsters can “spoof” an email to you (so it seems legitimate) but when you reply, the address in the “To” box changes.
- Think before you click- if the link seems off don’t click on it. Verify it is accurate by going to a browser and trying to navigate to that particular page.
- If unsure, simply pick up the phone and call the individual to verify the accuracy of the request.
- Ensure that all of your apps and programs are up to date, many updates are security related and may help detect possible “phishing” and/or “Spoofed” emails.
One of my colleagues is a cybersecurity and technology analyst and he has appeared previously on BNN Bloomberg discussing these types of attacks and how to protect yourself:
Also, here are resources from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre on how to protect yourself online:
Sorry for the inconvenience and the urgency of this posting, but we do not want any of you to be victimized by these fraudsters.
Terra D. Leibold,
Vice President/Registrar for the BMHA