Beware of official-sounding calls about an “email hack”

April 2016 - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released an alert on a new twist to the tech-support themed telephone scams.

What to Know:

  • Fraudulent callers claim to be from the Global Privacy Enforcement Network, which is a real organization that helps governments work together on cross-border privacy cooperation.
  • They claim that your email account has been hacked and is sending fraudulent messages, and they’ll have to take legal action against you unless you let them fix the problem right away.
  • If you raise questions, they turn up the pressure and may give out phone numbers of actual FTC staff (who have reported being surprised to get these calls), or send you to the actual Global Privacy Enforcement Network website in an effort to convince you of their legitimacy.

What to Do:

  • Don’t give control of your computer to anyone who calls you offering to “fix” your computer no matter who they claim to be.
  • Never give out or confirm your financial or sensitive information to anyone who contacts you.
  • Recognize that getting pressured to act immediately is a sure sign of a scam -- hang up!
  • If you have concerns about your personal-use computer, contact your security software company directly using contact information that you know is right (obtained from a reputable source), not what the caller gives you.
  • For Key clients or businesses: If you divulged any financial information about your KeyBank account, immediately contact Key’s Fraud & Disputes Hotline at 800-433-0124.
  • If you are not a Key Client and divulged any financial information, contact your bank immediately.
  • Learn more about tech-support scams and government imposter scams, and, if you spot a scam, tell the FTC.