If you’ve ever received an email from someone claiming to be the Prince of Nigeria telling you that you’ve been lucky enough to come into a large sum of money, chances are you’ve been targeted as part of something called a phishing scam.
These types of scams have come about as the internet has grown. Their primary intent is to send a false email that appears real with the aim of accessing information. The worst phishing scams will ask for username and passwords to access bank accounts or credit cards, and social security numbers to lead to identity theft.
Recently, it has come to the Delaware County District Library’s attention that there was a scam targeting university professors by attempting to collect credentials through their university library accounts. This scam explained to users that their library account had expired, and they must click a link to login and reactivate their account.
Of course, this sounds completely believable because, just over the past year, DCDL ran a similar campaign. We explained to users that they could choose to renew their library card online so there was no interruption in their regular library services. Individuals could also call or stop in a branch to renew, but this was another step of added convenience for DCDL patrons.
So, with phishing scams becoming more sophisticated and disguised, how can consumers keep themselves protected? First, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office recommends that consumers never respond to unexpected requests for personal information. Be wary when your bank or government agency requests your personal information over the phone or by email. Your best bet is to hang up or close the email and call the official organization directly to ask if the claim you heard was true.
Second, you can look more closely at the email and find clues that delegitimize it. Check the email address where the message came from. For example, trusted emails from the Delaware library will come from an email address that ends in “@delawarelibrary.org.” The most frequent ones you’ll see are likely from firstname.lastname@example.org or our director, George Needham.
Additionally, poor grammar is a good giveaway that an email cannot be trusted. Missing words, misspellings and improper punctuation or capitalization are telling signs of a scam. Companies who send email communications generally have a department, or at least several individuals, whose job it is to proofread mass communications.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office recommends calling 800-282-0515 or visiting www.OhioProtects.org if you need help detecting a potential scam. If you ever have questions about the authenticity of communications from the Delaware County District Library, please feel free to give me or our director a call or email. We’ll be happy to help, and we’re always glad you asked! As a reminder, all DCDL locations will be closed this Sunday as we allow our staff a day to celebrate Easter with their families. Locations will be back to their normal operating hours on Monday.
To keep your body healthy, your wallet wealthy, and your mind wise, here are the latest releases that might interest you.
• “Your Score” by Anthony Davenport with Matthew Rudy. A straightforward, nuts-and-bolts guide to understanding the mystifying world of consumer credit and your credit score, including what to do in the case of fraud and identity theft and how to navigate divorce, financing a new home, or handling school loans.
• “The Mindful Way to a Good Night’s Sleep” by Tzivia Gover. Improve your quality of sleep with the use of meditation, yoga, and journaling. This insightful, step-by-step guide to enhanced zzzz’s is also beautifully designed, gentle, and calming.
• “Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship With Food” by Rachel Herz. A science-based examination of the psychology of eating. This is not a diet book; rather, it’s a look at the complex relationship between food consumption and our senses.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at email@example.com. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!