Archive for Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Police department employee issues anti-scam warning

October 12, 2005

When it comes to the Internet, it's wise to be careful.

Tonganoxie police department reserve officer and police clerk Sandy Koontz knows why.

She recently received a spoof eBay e-mail.

Although the e-mail look as it if was from eBay, it was fake, Koontz said.

"It said it was a security verification," Koontz said. "They wanted all my information, my name and address, my mother's maiden name, social security number, banking account number, pin number, debit card number -- everything."

About the same time, Koontz said, she also received a spoof e-mail from Paypal.

"It was the same thing," Koontz said. "They asked a lot of the same questions."

Koontz said she uses her e-mail account occasionally, but hadn't shopped online in about a year.

In fact that's why she paid attention to the eBay spoof.

"It said they were going to shut my account off," Koontz said. "I didn't want to do that."

Koontz did some checking and found out where to verify whether the e-mails are genuine.

These e-mail address are: spoof@ebay.com, and spoof@paypal.com.

"They'll e-mail you back and say 'Yes, it's legitimate,' or 'No, it's not,'" Koontz said.

Koontz said she's glad she knew not to give out personal information.

"If I hadn't been in the business I'm in, I probably wouldn't have been so leery," Koontz said. "It makes you scared when you think how many other people are out there typing out their information."

She said she hopes her experience will be useful to others.

"Be aware and don't get taken," Koontz said.

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