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Vienna police detectives are investigating two scam incidents related to a “McAfee Antivirus” e-mail.
The scam usually begins with an e-mail that purports to be from McAfee, informing recipients that they are being charged $300 for “McAfee Total Protection anti-virus software” unless they cancel the order by calling a phone number provided in the message, detectives said.
If recipients call the number provided, they will be greeted by a scammer posing as a McAfee employee who will ask for personal information, including a bank-account number supposedly to verify the account.
After receiving the personal information, the scammer will request a wire transfer of funds, which will be nearly impossible to reverse once it is completed.
The Vienna Police Department provides the following guidelines for spotting and avoiding a “phishing” e-mail:
• Always check the sender’s e-mail. Phishing e-mails may look like they are from a legitimate company. It generally is a phishing scam if the sender’s e-mail address consists of random numbers and letters. If unsure of the message’s legitimacy, research the company’s e-mail.
• Look for spelling and grammatical errors, which phishing e-mails tend to have.
• Phishing e-mails will create a sense of urgency to trick recipients into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. One can inspect the link by hovering the mouse over it without clicking on it and opening only attachments from trusted and verified sources.
• Phishing e-mails may trick recipients by saying that they’ve noticed suspicious activity or log-in attempts; claiming there are account problems or problems with payment information; asking to confirm personal information; attaching fake invoices; providing a link to allow for a payment; threatening arrest; and offering money or free items.
Residents who think they may have fallen victim to a phishing scam should report it by calling the Vienna Police Department’s non-emergency number at (703) 255-6366. Phishing e-mails also may be reported to one’s e-mail provider or via the Federal Trade Commission’s Website at www.ftc.gov.