WEST NEWBURY — Chief Jeffrey Durand and the West Newbury Police Department wish to warn the public about a phishing email claiming to contain proof of a traffic violation.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) issued a warning about a recent attack that uses phishing emails, claiming to be proof of a traffic violation. The email prompts the victim to click on photo proof of their violation. However, the victim unknowingly downloads a file that, when opened, installs malware on the victim’s computer and allows the sender access to the victim’s computer.
There have been no reported incidents in West Newbury at this time.
The West Newbury Police Department and the Town of West Newbury will NEVER contact you about a traffic violation via email.
Additionally, residents should NEVER give personal information, Social Security numbers or credit card numbers to people through social media, email or text.
West Newbury Police would like to share the following tips from the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), which is part of CISA, to help residents avoid falling victim to email phishing scams:
- Never respond to suspicious emails.
- Don’t open emails from people you don’t know or don’t expect an email from. Pay close attention to the subject line, email address and grammar as these are often preliminary ways to tell that an email is a scam.
- If an email, email attachment or link seems suspicious, do not open it, even if antivirus software indicates that it is safe.
- Install spam filters.
- Install antivirus software and a personal firewall and keep it up to date.
To help people protect themselves from similar scams, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers several tips, including:
- Do not answer texts or calls from unknown numbers.
- Do not share personal, identifying information like Social Security numbers, account numbers, or mother’s maiden names.
- Be wary of anyone who talks quickly and pressures you to make a decision quickly.
- Do not send cash by messenger, overnight mail, or money transfer. If you pay for a product or service with cash or a money transfer, you run a risk of losing the right to dispute fraudulent charges.
Any West Newbury resident who believes they have been contacted by a potential scammer, or who believes they may have been a victim of such a scam, should contact the West Newbury Police Department at 978-363-1212.