Stay Smart and Away from Scams!

New phishing scams are popping up every day, catching even the smartest techies in their snares! Only just last week, the IRS warned that a new one has been reported, involving scammers posing as professional associations for the purposes of tricking users into disclosing usernames and passwords.

ASPA has heard from some of our Chapter and Section leaders with reports of being phished or scammed, providing financial information—and in some cases actual payments!—to scammers posing as ASPA or one of its affiliates.

Be aware: Scammers are crafty! If you receive a message that seems to be ASPA-related but you are unsure of its origins, contact us to find out if the message is legitimate before you reply, click or provide information. That said, make sure you send us a new message instead of replying to the one you received; phishers can and will pretend to be anyone just to get you to react!

Here are a few tips to tell if you are being targeted for a scam:

  • You are being asked to click on or open an attachment from a suspicious message
  • A link in an email contains a misleading domain name
  • The message is badly written with poor grammar
  • You are being asked to provide personal information (passwords, credit card numbers, answers to security questions)
  • You didn't initiate the action
  • The message appears to be from a government agency
  • You are being asked to send money to cover expenses

The final bullet above (sending money) has happened to Chapter and Section leaders multiple times in the past few months. Please make sure all inquiries regarding payments due are legitimate before you act on them. If your Treasurer needs help in recognizing the signs, encourage them to sign up for an anti-phishing class and get educated right away.

The best way to fight scams and avoid being phished is to know the warning signs and take precautions. Make sure you and your colleagues take time to get educated on this important subject.