April 6, 2012
AVMA issues email fraud alert
Phishing scam suspected
By: Jennifer Fiala
For The VIN News Service
A suspicious email is spreading in the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) name, and officials want the group’s 82,000-plus members to know that if they receive an email from the domain Veterinary_Practice_Center@mail.vresp.com, “it’s not from us.”
The suspected phishing email is from Veterinary Practice Resource Center, which invites veterinarians to sign up for an “AVMA PURE CONTENT Free Webinar.”
The Veterinary Practice Resource Center is a legitimate section of the AVMA’s website, but members are not sent emails from the center.
“We’re investigating the source of the email and will take appropriate action.”
That comes via the AVMA blog atwork.com, which posted a fraud alert concerning the phishing email on Wednesday.
Phishing is a scam typically carried out via unsolicited emails and websites. These hoax emails often are disguised as official electronic communications, mailed out in an attempt to acquire information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details from unsuspecting recipients. Phishing emails also can direct users to fake websites that look legitimate.
The AVMA wants those who receive suspicious emails in the organization’s name to call (800) 248-2862 to verify them or email email@example.com. All emails from the AVMA will include an AVMA domain.
The Federal Trade Commission suggests ways to avoid getting hooked by phishing scams:
- Do not reply to emails or pop-up messages asking for personal or financial information. Do not click on the link in the message, either.
- Review credit card and bank statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges.
- Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive, regardless of who sent them. These files can contain viruses or other software that can weaken your computer's security.
- Don't email personal or financial information.
- If you believe you’ve been scammed, file your complaint at ftc.gov, and then visit the FTC’s identity theft website. Victims of phishing can become victims of identity theft.
- Use anti-virus, anti-spyware software and a firewall. Update them regularly.
- Forward spam that is phishing for information to firstname.lastname@example.org and to the company, bank or organization impersonated in the phishing email.
- Watch for spelling and grammatical errors, which can be a clue that an email is suspicious.
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