Scammers use email to get your money - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Scammers use email to get your money

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May 25, 2005

Albany-- Every day, con artists send out millions of bogus emails. Many try to get your personal banking information. Some even appear to be emails from your own bank. Police warn you not to fall for the scams.

You might think you're not gullible enough to fall for an email scam. But when the email appears to come from your bank and the attached website looks just like the bank's site, it can be confusing for anyone.

The Internet super-highway is jammed with potential thefts, preying on email users. Email sent to a WALB employee appears to be from Charter One, an accredited bank, but not the bank this recipient uses.

The email says "we received your request to transfer a balance from your Charter One account. If we approve your balance transfer, we'll send a payment to your creditors."

It goes on to say..."We're not responsible for any charges billed to you by your other creditors."

That's your red flag!!

"If you receive an unsolicited email, don't open it," said APD Lt. Tracey Barnes. "If there's a link to another site, don't click on it because generally it's one of the scams that are going on."

Barnes says many fraudulent emails give a site to link to, as this one does. Once you get there, the fraud begins. "Some of them ask for your ATM number, debit card number and your password. That's just generally a very good clue that it's a false site. They're just trying to get money from the person," Barnes said.

The fraudulent site may look almost identical to your bank's real website, so beware. "If you compare the one you receive and then go on to the real bank website, you'll notice there's a slight difference in the coloring or shading of the site."

Barnes warns customers that most banks don't send out unsolicited emails, so be leery if you get one. It could be the latest Internet scam. If you get one of these emails, just delete it and call your bank. They'll be able to verify if they sent you an email and update you on your account. And, never email your personal banking information to anyone!

Another version of the "Charter One" scam says the bank is upgrading its online system and is requesting customers' information.

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