AP NEWS

Watch out for emails with fake voicemail messages

May 20, 2019

Better Business Bureau serving Canton Region and Greater West Virginia offers tips and advice for consumers to avoid fraudulent practices.

The concern

This new phishing email is so convincing it almost fooled BBB staff! This message looks just like an alert for a new voicemail message. But as always, it’s really a way to trick you into giving up personal information or downloading malware onto your computer.

How the scam works

You receive an unsolicited email that says you have a new voicemail from your Office 365 account or another workplace software. The email seems legitimate. It is complete with the official software logo and text claiming that the message comes from a “trusted source.”

In some versions, a portion of the “voicemail” is transcribed in the email. It says something like, “Please contact me ASAP about...” Scammers hope this will make you curious enough to click on the link to the fake message they’ve attached to the email. However, instead of redirecting you to a voicemail, the link downloads malware onto your computer.

In other cases, the link redirects you to a fake form that will ask you for information such as your password.

How to protect yourself

from phishing scams

Be cautious of unsolicited emails. If you’ve never opted into receiving email alerts from a company or software product, be wary of them.

Never click on links in emails from strangers. If you don’t know who the email came from, don’t click on the links in their message. Even links that seem harmless can download malware onto your computer.

Log into professional accounts directly instead of via email. If you aren’t sure if a message you receive is real, log in directly to your account to check instead of clicking on links in an email.

For more information

To learn more about phishing scams and how to avoid them, visit

BBB.org/PhishingScams. You can also find some excellent tips at BBB.org/AvoidScams.

If you’ve been the victim of a phishing scam, use your experience to help others avoid falling prey by reporting it at the BBB.org/ScamTracker.

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