Member Advisory

MEMBER ADVISORY: Beware of illegitimate emails from Microsoft

March 31, 2022
by Kara Clark

Members have recently reported phishing and browser-based scams

Recently there has been a rise in phishing and browser-based scams locally on the Central Coast. Please beware of emails, text messages or browser ad pop-ups that appear to be from Microsoft, with headlines or subject lines such as “MS Security Defender” or “Windows Defender – Security Warning.”

The messages assert your PC or computer is infected or has been hacked and that you must take action by calling or clicking links. They are sent from fraudsters who are trying to scam you in order to gain access to your Online Banking passwords and accounts, or to install malware on your computers or devices.

If you receive a suspicious email, text or browser pop-up ad: 

  • DO NOT click on any links.
  • DO NOT contact the company from a link or phone number provided in the message.
  • DO delete the emails, texts and others like them.
You may also:
  • Report a suspicious email, text or pop-up ad to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at
  • Contact the company who is being faked using a phone number or website you know is real and request verification of the suspicious message.
  • Stay prepared. See the FTC’s tips for recognizing and avoiding phishing scams

Watch out for these common scams:

Amazon Impersonators

According to the FTC, between July 2020 and June 2021, 96,000 reports of “Amazon impersonation” were filed. Six thousand of the targeted individuals lost money in the scam, with reported losses totaling more than $27 million. The real numbers are likely to be significantly higher, because not all instances of fraud and attempted fraud are reported. Keep Reading »

What’s Old is New Again

The FTC knows that people who talk about scams are much less likely to fall for them. So, when people of any age are on their own too much, they don’t have the chance to talk things out. And when scammers — who are calling, emailing, and texting — might be a person’s main source of contact, nothing good happens next.  Keep Reading »

Social Media Scams

Globally, the average person spends more than 2 hours per day on social media. It is not surprising that criminals have focused their attention on these internet platforms as a way to gather personal information, gain trust, and socially engineer their way to fraud that results in billions of dollars of losses annually. Keep Reading »


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