“Beware: AoA (Administration on Aging) Email Scam”

“This week, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) has heard from a number of people who have received emails falsely claiming they are from the Administration on Agting (AoA) and Edwin Walker requesting personal and financial information. These emails are a Phishing scam.

·  ACL will never ask for your social security number.

·  We will not ask you to send us a check in order to access a benefit.

·  You can always contact us at (202) 401-4634 to check to see if a message is valid.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, bank and other financial account, and credit card details (and, directly or indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication including email and text messages. For anyone, but particularly for older and vulnerable adults, phishing can be an opening to fraud and financial abuse.

How Do I Spot a Phishing Email?

Phishers include links in their email to lure you to fake sites that look like the legitimate ones to steal your login credentials or they could use the links to infect your computer with a virus. Phishers may also ask for you to respond to an email with sensitive, personally identifiable information (PII) that would allow them access to bank or other financial accounts. Before you click a link or respond to an email, you should ask:

Do you recognize the sender’s company or email address?  Is the sender’s email address familiar?  Are you expecting something from the sender’s company or organization?

Are you named in the salutation?  This may not always prove that the email is legitimate due to the fact that your name may be in your email address, but it’s good to check.

You should always be suspicious of links in an email.  Always hover over links to verify the source URL code.  A URL is the address of a specific website or file on the Internet.  Before you click, verify that you recognize the linked URL.

Do you know the sender?  The sender should include a signature that provides contact information.

What to do if you think you have received a phishing email?

You have two choices: Delete the mail, or

Forward the email to an organization that can either study the email for evidence of who sent it, or can investigate the people responsible for sending it. Examples include an IT security group that supports you, or a law enforcement organization that deals with cybersecurity.

You also can report complaints to these agencies:

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internet Crime Compliant Center:

https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

The Federal Trade Commission:

(877) 382-4357

U.S. Postal Service:

http://ehome.uspis.gov/fcsexternal/default.aspx

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