What is phishing?
Phishing is the activity of defrauding an online account holder of personal information by posing as a legitimate company. A phishing scam is delivered by means of an email that appears to be from a legitimate source such as your bank, credit card company, or in our case, RE/MAX or engageRE. The phishing email will encourage you to click on a link in the email in an attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by disguising as a trustworthy source.
How can I recognize a phishing email?
The subject of the email will generally be worded to create concern or a sense of urgency, and the email will contain a link to what appears to be a legitimate website that you often access. The text of the email might ask recipients to validate their email addresses and/or verify their MainStreet password. NOTE: neither engageRE nor RE/MAX will ever send you an email to request or validate your password!
Another form of phishing scam comes as an email from a familiar source, requesting to share a Google Doc with you. The message contains a link that adds applications to your Google account which allow unwanted access to the account.
I’m fairly sure I’ve been compromised. What should I do now?
If you have clicked on any links in a scam or phishing email, that may have enabled the scammer to either install malware or crack your email password. You might have also provided your User Name and Password inadvertently. Please run PC protection software on your computer, change your MainStreet password, and change your email password, in that order. Make sure you use a new, original password.
You may also want to take the following steps:
- Run an anti-virus software such as Norton.
- Change all passwords that might have been used recently. Use a new, original password
- Email your contact list and inform them that you did not send any emails with links. Inform them that if they have already done so, they will need to take the above steps as well.
- If you have are concerned that you may have fallen prey to a Google Doc scam, visit this Google resource to repair your account.
Where can I find more information online?
- Visit the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Information, Phishing web page
- RE/MAX eCare Bulletin