Thousands of Verizon Wireless customers have been receiving a monthly bill in their email boxes in recent weeks.
Some have paid it with barely a second thought: Bad idea.
Because the Better Business Bureau is now issuing an alert , calling this is one of the best "phishing" scams yet.
Looks Very Legitimate
Karen Littman is a longtime Verizon Wireless customer. So when she received an email from the company, she immediately opened it up.
"It says your current bill for your account is now available online for My Verizon," she said.
That made sense, as did the figure, which appeared to be just a couple of dollars more than her normal bill. "My normal bill is $120," Littman said, "so this just looked like a decimal point in the wrong spot."
But she says when she looked more closely she realized the bill wasn't for $120, but for more than a thousand. "It was saying I have a bill of over $1,200."
At first she worried Verizon made an error. "But then I looked over and noticed the slightest difference in the email address," Littman said. It was from "cAccountNotify@verizonwireless.com," with a small "c" added in front of the usual email address, that was easy to miss.
At that point she realized the email was from a scammer, a very good scammer at that.
Almost Identical to Real Bill
The Better Business Bureau is receiving complaints nationwide about these emails, that are almost identical to real Verizon bills.
It says customers of other carriers are also receiving them, but Verizon customers are the ones falling for it and in some cases entering credit cards,
But the BBB says if you enter your credit card info, you will be sending money -- a lot of money -- to a phishing scammer outside the country.
Be Suspicious of all Unexpected Emails
Remember: Be suspicious of any email or text message you receive that appears to be a bill, or claims there is a problem with your account.
Whether it's your bank, your internet provider, or cell phone company, triple check to be sure it is really from them before responding.
That way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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