Sunday, December 18, 2011

King County Scam Email: The Lemming Got One, Too

"King County warns of email scam"
FederalWayMirror.com (December 16, 2011)

"King County is warning residents of an apparent email scam.

"The email is in regards to property tax payments, and is a false confirmation that a payment was received. According to the county, these emails have even been sent to people in other states and countries. The county says these emails have not been sent by the county, and that none of the county's systems have been compromised.

" 'It appears that someone copied our standard payment confirmation email and altered the header in the email so that it appears to be from King County,' said County Chief Information Officer Bill Kehoe. 'These messages did not come from King County, and the recipients have not made any payments with us.'..."

The Lemming lives more than a thousand miles east of King County's Seattle, Washington, and got one of those ersatz emails on Thursday, December 15. How the scammer got the Lemming's personal email is anyone's guess.

A few minutes' searching told the Lemming that the email was probably the result of someone spoofing, and that the Lemming should delete the email.

And, of course, not open the attachment. Seriously: Folks still open attachments arriving in odd emails from folks they don't know? Come to think about it, there's probably someone starting to use email every day - and reminders never hurt.

Moving on

"Apparent Email Scam" in the News

"King County warns of apparent email scam"
King County Executive News (December 15, 2011)

"County's e-commerce system secure, investigators looking into outside source of bogus emails

"King County is warning of an apparent email scam. The county has received calls from people and businesses within and outside of King County, including individuals from other states and countries, who have reported receiving false confirmation of an online property tax payment made through the King County e-commerce system. These emails were not sent by King County, and the county's e-commerce system has not been compromised.

" 'It appears that someone copied our standard payment confirmation email and altered the header in the email so that it appears to be from King County,' said County Chief Information Officer Bill Kehoe. 'These messages did not come from King County, and the recipients have not made any payments with us.'..."

Which is pretty much what the Lemming found on the King County website.

Why did the Lemming take time to put this post together?

For one thing, that ersatz email was different from the spam that occasionally gets past the Lemming's filters. It wasn't the obviously-bogus message from a 'law firm:' about a rich relative who doesn't exist, worded in a way that suggests the message was composed by a Croatian primary school dropout, using a Slovenian-English dictionary written by a well-intentioned Bengali.

For another, the Lemming is still a little puzzled about being included in a scam that seems otherwise restricted to the Seattle, Washington, area. Not that the Lemming's likely to spend more time, trying to find out.

Besides, it's Sunday afternoon: and the Lemming's taking a few hours off. Which sometimes results in the Lemming committing another post. And that's another topic.

Slightly-related posts:

2 comments:

Brigid said...

"The Lemming lives more than a thousand miles west of King County's Seattle"

While technically accurate, I think it'd make more sense if you changed 'west' to 'east'.

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian Gill said...

Brigid,

*Way* more than a thousand. Fixed, and thanks!

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