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Columbus News

Posted on: December 13, 2023

Police warn residents of new and emerging scams


Columbus residents are encouraged to take note of new scams attempting to use streaming services and QR codes as a front to access sensitive information.

One is being labeled a "Disney+ Phishing Scam,"  in which cybercriminals send an email that appears to be an invoice from Disney+. The email states that you will be charged for a new subscription and directs you to call the number provided if this was an unauthorized purchase. 

To make the email more concerning, the amount of money shown is three times the advertised price of a monthly subscription. 

If you call the number in the email, a cybercriminal posing as customer services will answer. They will ask you for sensitive information, like your payment method, and may even try to gain remote access to your device, according to KnowBe4, the world’s largest integrated platform for security awareness training combined with simulated phishing attacks. 

Callback phishing is when a phishing email directs you to call a number instead of clicking on a link. These emails are often fake notifications that encourage you to make a call to correct an error. 

Follow these tips to stay safe from callback phishing scams:

    Be suspicious of emails that contain a sense of urgency. Cybercriminals use a sense of urgency as an attempt to catch you off guard and get you to act impulsively. 

    Consider the email’s context, timing, grammar, and other details. For example, does the invoice reference your real credit or debit card? 

    Avoid calling phone numbers provided in emails. Instead, navigate to an official website to find the best contact number. 

Earlier this week, the Columbus Police Department also announced on its Facebook page a scam in which criminals are trying to use QR codes to direct people to harmful websites and harvest their data. National news reports indicate scammers are finding ways to use them to do terrible things, such as draining bank accounts and making unauthorized credit card charges to even filing tax returns in victims' names.

The Columbus Police Department urges residents to be aware and cautious.

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