Dear Madame L,
I hope you have time from your busy schedule of watching the various political conventions to answer a question about something else.
I've just received an email message from Verizon saying I could pay this huge bill online. I don't think it's for real, but it looks pretty official, and it doesn't have any of the usual clues that it's really some scammer in some other country.
It says I can pay the bill online, but it's more than 4 times bigger than any of my usual bills from Verizon. What should I do?
Madame L suspects that you have indeed been scammed, or phished. But it won't work for the guilty party as long as you don't respond to the email message and don't click any thing in the email message.
Here's some useful information from the state of Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation about this phishing scam. This office offers the same tips Madame L mentions above, and adds one other. Here's what they say are the three things to keep from letting the phishers be successful:
1. Do not reply to suspicious email messages.
2. Do not open any attachments or links, as they may contain a malicious code that will infect your computer.
3. Delete the email message from your computer.
Also, you can check Verizon's own website for information on contacting Verizon and for security alerts.