The City of Chicago Heights received notice of fraudulent emails being sent to residents under the guise of a “Municipal Notice” for Metering and Grid Alterations. Do not respond or click on links in an email if you do not recognize the sender. Such attacks include phishing emails that are designed to trick you into visiting malicious sites or downloading malware that can then be used to steal data. This reminder sets out general guidance on how to protect yourself. Please read these tips below.
Microsoft Tips for Recognizing Fraudulent Phishing Emails:
Here are some ways to recognize a phishing email:
- Urgent call to action or threats - Be suspicious of emails that claim you must click, call, or open an attachment immediately. Often, they'll claim you have to act now to claim a reward or avoid a penalty. Creating a false sense of urgency is a common trick of phishing attacks and scams. They do that so that you won't think about it too much or consult with a trusted advisor who may warn you.
Tip: Whenever you see a message calling for immediate action take a moment, pause, and look carefully at the message. Are you sure it's real? Slow down and be safe.
- First time or infrequent senders - While it's not unusual to receive an email from someone for the first time, especially if they are outside your organization, this can be a sign of phishing. When you get an email from somebody you don't recognize, take a moment to examine it extra carefully before you proceed.
- Spelling and bad grammar - Professional companies and organizations usually have an editorial staff to ensure customers get high-quality, professional content. If an email message has obvious spelling or grammatical errors, it might be a scam. These errors are sometimes the result of awkward translation from a foreign language, and sometimes they're deliberate in an attempt to evade filters that try to block these attacks.
- Generic greetings - An organization that works with you should know your name and these days it's easy to personalize an email. If the email starts with a generic "Dear sir or madam" that's a warning sign that it might not really be your bank or shopping site.
- Mismatched email domains - If the email claims to be from a reputable company, like Microsoft or your bank, but the email is being sent from another email domain like Gmail.com, or microsoftsupport.ru it's probably a scam. Also be watchful for very subtle misspellings of the legitimate domain name. Like micros0ft.com where the second "o" has been replaced by a 0, or rnicrosoft.com, where the "m" has been replaced by an "r" and a "n". These are common tricks of scammers.
- Suspicious links or unexpected attachments - If you suspect that an email message is a scam, don't open any links or attachments that you see. Instead, hover your mouse over the link, but don't click the link. See if the address matches the link that was typed in the message. Resting the mouse over the link reveals the real web address.
(Source: Microsoft https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/protect-yourself-from-phishing-0c7ea947-ba98-3bd9-7184-430e1f860a44 )