Santa Monica police are warning residents to be vigilant toward phishing – fraudulent activity in which email messages or phone calls are used to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card numbers.
SMPD Sgt. Rudy Camarena said requests are constructed to make the victim believe that the request is valid and the source is trustworthy.
“Scammers typically employ email messages that contain images or links that are designed to look legitimate,” Camarena said. “The messages oftentimes consist of dire actions against the victim that need immediate attention and payment.”
Camarena said the SMPD would like to remind the public of the following preventive tips in the handling of suspicious telephone or email requests.
— Do not click on any links in a suspicious email message. Instead go to the institution’s website and log in directly or call a telephone number you know is genuine.
— Do not reply to any messages that requests your personal information and do not send financial and/or personal information in an email.
— Be cautious about opening attachments or downloading files regardless of the sender. Attachments and downloadable files often contain viruses that can compromise your computer system’s security and personal information.
— Be aware that fraudulent email messages often contain spelling errors and use poor grammar.
— Be skeptical of any unsolicited calls.
Anyone with information regarding a telephone or email scam is urged to contact the Santa Monica Police Department by calling the non-emergency number at 310.458.8491.