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Some good tips on Reporting E-Mail Scams and Spoofs

This Q&A came from the New York Times recently. While it’s US focused, it does point out some useful tips on what to do if you receive e-mails claiming to be from your bank.

Q.&A.: Reporting E-Mail Scams and Spoofs

I got an e-mail message claiming to be from my bank and wanting me to download a form pertaining to my account. I’m fairly confident this is a scam, but what should I do with the message? Is there some place to report it?

Call your bank’s customer-service hotline and confirm that the message is indeed false. While you have a bank representative on the line, you can ask if the institution has a place to report or forward “phishing” and fraudulent messages for investigation. Many companies have a place for such things, often at addresses like abuse@yourbank.com or spoof@yourbank.com, so ask if there is such a mailbox available.

To help collect as much information about spoofed messages as possible, the Anti-Phishing Working Group advises that you report the message to them on a Web site form, or forward to them as explained on the form.

While you may not see immediate results, you can also forward the suspicious message to the Federal Trade Commission. The F.T.C. adds the collected spam and phishing messages to a database that it uses for building legal cases against people sending deceptive and fraudulent e-mail.

The National Consumer Agency are the Irish useless regulator you need to follow up with – they will sometimes highlight on their website if there are banking phishing e-mails going around.

You could also read up on the ValueIreland.com Top Tips on Avoiding Financial Phishing – click here to read more.

1 comments On Some good tips on Reporting E-Mail Scams and Spoofs

  • That would have been more useful if you had given e-mail addresses or website URLs for the Anti-Phishing Working Group and/or the Federal Trade Commission.
    A practice I have found useful is to identify the website where the graphics are hosted (hover your cursor over the picture; no need to click on it, and you’ll see the website name in your status bar), and forward the scam message to the webmaster or abuse monitor there, with a complaint that the pictures is being used in scams. Usually the picture will disappear within hours, and you’ll maybe save some innocent victims.

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