It has been brought to our
attention that over the last few days many Buy With Confidence members have
received spam email messages. These messages mention that the person sending
the message knows they are a member of the scheme, and requests services
related to a sector/category that the business is listed under on the Buy With
Confidence website. Many of these come from ‘internationalpurchase.info’ and
contain a very general request for a quotation with bad grammar.
These are likely to be phishing
e-mails. It appears that these are attempts to take control of people’s
email accounts. The people may be hoping to take over email accounts in order
to launch an interception scam, where they watch the messages being sent and
received, and wait until a business is about to request a large payment from a
client. They then step in and send an email with their own bank details,
requesting a transfer. The client unwittingly pays the scammer and both they
and the business are left out of pocket. (Please note, we have no evidence that
this is currently happening to any Buy With Confidence members, but it appears
this may be what the scammers are attempting).
If you have received any of these
suspicious emails, please delete them and do not click on any unusual links. Do
not enter your email password into any site you are not 100% sure needs it –
neither Dropbox nor any other site needs this in order to allow you to access
files*. If you are worried you may have already inadvertently given your email
password or other details to a scammer, change your password as soon as
possible and contact your provider to ensure there are no other actions they
advise for you to take.
While we apologise that this is
happening, it is unfortunately very difficult when providing an online list to
the public which includes contact details – including email addresses – to
prevent scammers from harvesting those details. Due to the potentially high
value of the con mentioned above, scammers are willing to put extra effort into
personalising their ‘phishing’ attempts with mentions of Buy With Confidence
and apparent familiarity with what your business does. This can make it appear
more legitimate than typical spam.
We have previously put
precautions in place to make it more difficult for scammers to harvest e-mail
addresses from the Buy With Confidence website, but it is difficult to
completely prevent without making it more difficult for genuine people,
including the vulnerable people Buy With Confidence is often used by, from
finding legitimate businesses via the Buy With Confidence website.
If you have any further concerns,
please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Buy With
*The only exception
would be a webmail portal you know is provided by your email provider, but even
there, double-check you are entering your details into a genuine URL/web address
(e.g. Hotmail.com) and not a similar, spoof address.