Suspicious Email?  Anyone Can Help Detect Fraud

Suspicious Email?  Anyone Can Help Detect Fraud

Email is a vital tool in our everyday lives. Unfortunately, it has also become a method of choice for financial criminals to conduct scams and fraud against consumers.

Trust your gut if you get an email that seems fishy, and don’t take the bait. Legitimate financial providers will never ask you to email personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, or your online IDs and passwords. If anyone asks you for this information out of the blue, chances are it’s a trap. It’s a scam called “phishing,” and it can be used to steal your money, valuable information, or identity.

The Online Lenders Alliance has noticed an increase in phishing attacks and other scams coming from Google email addresses. OLA has been working with Google to report the email addresses of wrongdoers.

If you receive a suspicious email, you should know that the tools for reporting it are built into most email programs. If you’re a Gmail user, click the down arrow that is next to the reply arrow, and click on “report phishing.” Other service providers have similar shortcuts to make it easy to report problems.

And there’s more you can do. You can actually help OLA help Google track down offenders by calling us with important information on suspicious emails you’ve received. Anyone can be a detective and capture the full header from an email, using Google’s “Message Header Tool.” Here’s how to read an email header:

  1. Open the email you want to check the headers for.
  2. Next to Reply , click the Down arrow .
  3. Click Show original.
  4. Copy the text on the page.
  5. Open the Message header tool.
  6. In “Paste email header here,” paste your header.
  7. Click Analyze the header above.

There are two last steps: Write down your findings, or copy and paste them into a file. Then call us at the OLA Consumer Hotline at 1-866-299-7585 to report the information. We’ll include it in our regular reports to Google’s Investigations and User Protection Division.

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