BLUF: Keep vigilant for text and email scams
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Please remind Soldiers, Warfighters and civilian employees to maintain a high level of vigilance for scams spread by email and text. Thieves don’t take a break for the holidays, or anytime, really. We can't let our guard down and become victims.
One good rule of thumb is to always avoid clicking links in email and text messages unless you're absolutely certain of its origin. Keep in mind that scammers can “spoof” legitimate businesses and will use logos that look like the official ones. Last night, an Army Sustainment Command (ASC) employee received a text from an unknown number claiming “Army Sustainment Command shirt $10 off;” all they had to do was click on a link in the message. I personally received a text this morning asking me to click on a link and update my address so that my package could be delivered, even though I wasn't expecting one.
Some tell-tale signs that a message is not legitimate:
- It's from a business with whom you have no established relationship (e.g., a bank you’ve never used).
- It's from an unknown number, something not in your contacts.
- It wasn't expected (e.g., a “package alert” when you aren’t expecting a package).
- It isn't specific (e.g., refers to a “package” but does not specify where the package is from, or says “your bank account” but does not name a bank).
- It's filled with misspellings and bad grammar.
- It requests updates of personal information – legitimate requests will not normally be made by email or text.
If you have a concern, look up the business contact information separately and contact the business through other means. For example, if I receive a message supposedly from my bank and I have a concern, I can use my bank app to access my account online and see if I have a message. I could also look up a published phone number for the bank and call them directly.
Clicking on a link in a message from an unknown source might lead to a compromise of personal information or could even grant “back door” access into one's computer.
Stay vigilant and stay safe!
Dr. Kathleen M. Linderman-Hill
: Great advice, Doctor.
Readers, read and heed this advice. When in doubt, as your supervisor, security specialist or other subject-matter expert for guidance.