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How to report cyberphishing scams

FBI says it received 4 millionth cyber crime complaint in 2017

SAN ANTONIO – You've likely gotten a scam in your inbox, and for government employees, it's no different.

Scams asking people to send money or provide personal information with the promise of some great reward in return are quite common.

Within the past month, Bexar County Clerk Gerry Rickhoff has received more than a dozen scam emails to his government email address. One imposter pretended to be employed with Bexar County.

“They wanted me to redirect my e-mail to a bogus address,” Rickhoff said.

Other scammers pose as major, well-known and trusted companies

“They send these out to tens of thousands of people, and it only takes one to reward them," Rickhoff said,

One e-mail Rickhoff got at first glance appeared to be from Google.

“They say I won some great award. All I got to do is send them my name, address, my driver’s license, my contact information. I got multiples of those.” Rickhoff said.

Upon closer look at the senders' e-mail address, it was from a similar name to Google.

“If you set up a fake website to look like Amazon or Google, that’s going to get you in trouble,” said Dr. Gregory White, a computer science professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

White said cyberphishing often crosses the legal line.

“Asking for a credit card number or a pin to access your account online, and then someone accesses that, withdraws money or charges something to that account, then you've committed a crime,” White said.

White advises against contacting authorities every time you get a phishing e-mail. Both he and Rickhoff say the best way to protect yourself is to be vigilant, and guard your personal information.

According to the FBI, in October of 2017, it received its four millionth internet crime complaint.

To file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, click here.


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