Crooks pose as Martin County Sheriff in fraudulent emails
STUART, Fla. (CBS12) —
Crooks are continuing to look for new ways to take your money and personal information this holiday season.
Fraudsters are pretending to be the Martin County Sheriff to reel in victims to their apparent phishing scam.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office took to social media about fraudulent emails making the rounds in the area on Monday.
“Don’t respond to anything with my name on it. I don’t send anybody emails ever,” Sheriff William Snyder said.
They appear to come from a valid Martin County Sheriff’s Office email address. Snyder said this is the first time his name has been used by crooks.
Snyder said these emails are requesting gift cards or cash. Other emails ask people to click a link, which takes them to adult websites.
“Clearly, if someone clicks on that link, they’re going to have a virus,” he said. “Somebody sees my name, they may instinctively click on a link, or hit respond, and open themselves up to a real mess.”
Here’s a sample of one of the bogus email:
I want to give you some gift cards, can you confirm if we can get some today? Will want you to make arrangements to get the gift cards so I can advise certain products and domination to procure. Regards William D. Snyder.”
Snyder said the perpetrators can falsify their email address. And what’s even more disturbing, he said some of these fraudulent emails have been circulating inside the sheriff’s office.
“That’s really dangerous. They got passed our firewall. They got into the sheriff’s office. Had some employee clicked on that, they would have introduced a virus into the sheriff’s office computer,” he said.
“Our biggest fear, for us, is that somebody will open up their accounts to a bad actor.
Synder said the bottom line is the sheriff’s office will never send out emails soliciting gift cards or send links that direct you to other entities.
“If you move your cursor over these purported email addresses, you’ll see other links and there’s a way to look at it to see if they’re fraudulent,” he said.
The sheriff’s office says if you receive an email of this type, please delete it.