In commemoration of Data Privacy Day (January 28, 2020), Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum released a “Do Not Click” campaign to educate Oregonians about staying safe online. She is hoping to alert people to the dangers of clicking on links that appear to be legitimate-but are not. Scammers may pretend to be an official organization, bank, business or a familiar person in order to obtain sensitive or confidential information either through a text message or an email. These “phishing” scams usually target a bank account number, credit card number, password or user names.
“Our consumer hotline receives thousands of calls each month, and sadly, many of the Oregonians we hear from have fallen victim to a scam that started with an innocent-seeming link. These scams often look so official, it can be hard to tell if it is really your bank, or a company you do business with trying to contact you!” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “Once a person has handed over their confidential information-which can be as simple as clicking on a link- it can be hard to get it back. We must all be vigilant, as scammers are getting more sophisticated and tech-savvy.”
Last year, Jude M. from Eugene, Oregon, received an email claiming to be from Apple. The email included a link to a $50 invoice for an unpaid “subscription” and directed him to click on a link to “verify the information on file”. Thankfully, Jude knew the email wasn’t from Apple. It was a fraudulent attempt by a cyber-criminal to obtain Jude’s sensitive information.
Unfortunately, every year thousands of Oregonians fall victim to cyber-criminals who disguise themselves as legitimate entities like Apple.
To help keep Oregonians safe, the Oregon Department of Justice will distribute hundreds of the Do Not Click flyers to libraries, churches, retirement communities, and state agencies throughout Oregon. The flyer includes five tips on how to protect your privacy, safeguard data, and when not to click on a link or open an attachment.
“Cybercriminals have become quite savvy in their attempts to lure people in and get you to click on a link or open an attachment. They may claim to be associated with a financial institution, an e-commerce site, a government agency or any other service or business. Links in email, tweets, posts and online advertising are often how cyber-criminals try to compromise your information. If it looks suspicious, ‘DO NOT CLICK!'” said Attorney General Rosenblum.
You can download the “Do Not Click” flyer online here.
If you have information about or have fallen victim to a scam, please contact the Oregon Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or online at www.oregonconsumer.gov.