Scam Warning: Email Phishing on the Rise

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe is warning consumers about an email scam affecting Yahoo! customers.

Mr Stowe said the scam involves an email, purportedly from ‘Y.Mail Security’ asking the customer to verify their status as an active user and threatening to restrict access to their email within 24 hours if the action is not completed.

The scam then prompts users to enter their personal details so that their identity may be stolen and bank accounts accessed. 

“Unfortunately, email scams of this nature are on the rise and unsuspecting people may mistakenly think they are dealing with legitimate organisations or services they frequently use, such as their email provider” said Mr Stowe.

Customers are reminded to never click on a link or open an attachment in an email they do not trust.  The demand for a response within a short time limit can also indicate a con, such as with the current Yahoo! scam. 

“Always check the address you are being linked to, and be particularly suspicious of any email demanding a response within a tight timeframe” said Mr Stowe.   

“Scammers rely on you not checking out their legitimacy.  Take your time to investigate the correct website or phone number before proceeding.”

If customers are suspicious about an unsolicited email, even if it is from a service or company they frequently use, they should call the company directly to verify that the correspondence is genuine.  Never use telephone numbers referenced in the suspect email.

Every year, there are many people who fall victim to convincing scams.  NSW Fair Trading encourages anyone who thinks they may have been scammed to take the time to report it.

Reports can be made to NSW FairTrading, SCAMwatch or the Australian Cybercrime Online Report Network (ACORN).  These organisations’ websites also contain information on the various types of scams and how consumers can protect themselves.