BBB Warns of E-mail Scam Based on Economic Stimulus

According to BBB (Better Business Bureau) of Osceola (Indiana, US), it has been receiving numerous calls, complaining of web and e-mail scams.

A particular e-mail reaching the inboxes of Osceola citizens tells the recipient that he is eligible for government aid under the free federal stimulus scheme. Subsequently, it asks the recipient to follow a link to obtain more information on how he could get the grant, but for getting it, he must pay a fee between $1.99 and $69.95.

However, the e-mails and URL links are fraudulent, said Dreama Jensen, the top official at the Osceola branch of BBB, as reported by wsbt on March 23, 2009.

Jensen further says that a number of the fraudulent sites with which the e-mail links are connected ask for various personal details that could potentially lead to ID theft. According to him, these illegitimate sites display legitimate data to make the user think he is browsing a genuine site and thereby, get him to divulge his information.

Meanwhile, BBB is especially worried since a lot of people in Osceola have gone jobless; thus, the grant could appear as a favorable option.

In fact, Greg Zoeller, Indiana Attorney General, had cautioned people through a consumer warning in early March 2009, as reported by wsbt on March 23, 2009.

The warning said that the e-mail scams such as those circulating in Osceola were created to steal people's credit card or bank account numbers through bogus e-mail attachments or URLs. Therefore, it suggested users that they should never open attachments or links coming from unknown people.

As per the suggestion, if any e-mail offers an employment, the recipient must contact the HR department of the company to find out if there indeed is an opening. Additionally, the recipient should not reveal personal information in the e-mails offering jobs and also check his bank and credit card statements for any illegal transaction.

Meanwhile, it is unfortunate that while the federal economic stimulus intends to provide relief to the US citizens, some people are just exploiting it in phishing scams, targeting those most hard-hit economically.

Related article: BBA Outlines Steps To Ward Off Online Fraud

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