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Maine police department target of phishing scam

Officers at the Wells Police Department say even the police aren't impervious to scams. Here's how you can protect yourself at home from scams.

WELLS, Maine — The Wells Police Department is warning everyone of phishing scams, saying even they aren't impervious to such attacks.

The department posted these details of a scam that recently went around their email system. 

Several days ago, according to the department, officers received emails that appeared to be from Chief Jo-Ann Putnam. 

Luckily officers noticed the emails were not from the chief but from an email account named "vgcsst@gmail.com."

The email asked the recipients to purchase an Amazon gift card and send back photos of the card in order to access the security code, but the department was able to nip it before the email became a problem.

Many times phishing scams look something like this. Fortunately, most companies and places of work have security measures set up for their work emails. But not everyone has these measures to safeguard them from cyber-attacks. 

The Federal Trade Commission's website features a number of helpful tips to help prevent becoming a victim yourself. 

  • Protect your computer by using security software.
  • Protect your mobile phone by setting software to update automatically.
  • Protect your accounts by using multi-factor authentication.
  • Protect your data by backing it up.

Click HERE for more details. 

Scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information. They may try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts.

Overall, don't give your money to anyone or any service you can't verify.

If you get an email with a request for payment, DO NOT send or submit ANYTHING until you contact the business, person, or service requesting it.

Keep as a rule of thumb, no legitimate business, service, or transaction will ask for gift cards as a form of payment. 

As another rule of thumb, read emails you don't recognize with skepticism. Even if the email seems like it's coming from your bank, remember scammers are tricky. If it is requesting login or payment, it doesn't hurt to call customer service if you're unsure. 

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