GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Colonial Pipeline issue all started with an email. We all get emails, at home and at work. All the scammers needed was for one person to click a link and they were in.
Before you say, how could that person have done that? Look at this email we received at the TV station. It has the Microsoft logo on it and it says there are four emails that were delayed and they would be deleted permanently from the server unless a link was clicked within 48 hours.
We happen to use Microsoft office, so you could see how this might seem legit. Besides, we all live and die by emails. The first instinct is to make sure you're not missing anything and you go to click the email.
But wait! Look at the address where the email came from. It's from some David guy with a Hotmail email address.
Really? Is a Microsoft Server sending me something from a Hotmail account? No, no they're not.
“Scammers are excellent at making you think there is an urgent problem that you need to take care of immediately. That's how they play on all of us,” said BBB’s Lechelle Yates.
If a scammer can get an immediate reaction, chances are you and maybe your company is about to have a big headache. So take a few seconds and really look at the email or the text before you click on anything.
DON’T CLICK THE LINK.
Google is offering new technology to help you figure out if you should click on a link or not. Many scam emails come with a link that once you click it, a virus or malware infects your device, kind of like the ransomware that led to the shutdown of Colonial Pipeline.
“Scammers can be tricky and they figured out ways to make it look like someone you know who sent you a link. This technology that Google has created is a great way for you to check the URL without having to click on it,” said Lechelle Yates of the Better Business Bureau.
All you have to do is copy the URL and paste it into the spot on the website. The website will do the work for you.