Officials with the City of Evansville are alerting local business owners to a new e-mail scam circulating around the area.

The City's official Twitter account posted a screengrab of the e-mail which shows the sender as "City of Evansville." The message in the e-mail claims it comes from the City's Business Permit and Licensing Division, which does not exist. The e-mail goes on to say the Division is "in the process of verifying all certified businesses for the first quarter of the year to prepare for 2021 bids and contracts." It also threatens to penalize businesses who do not click the link included and remove them "for the 2021 calendar year," but does not specify what they are removing them from. I assume they are referring to a verified list that obviously doesn't exist. The screengrab of the e-mail can be seen in the City's tweet below.

Phishing scams are one of the more popular methods hackers use to try and steal information from their victims, often using some sort of threat like the one above, or claiming an account you have with someone like a streaming service you subscribe to has been locked out, and the only way to fix this issue is to provide them with your login or other personal information which they then use to access bank accounts, and other private information. Some will use the links to install malware software on your computer or phone that will give the hackers access to everything they want without you having to enter anything.

The Federal Trade Commission offers a number of tips for spotting a phishing scam, including looking at the e-mail address the message was sent from. In the case of the e-mail above, while the sender is listed as "City of Evansville," the e-mail address is in no way, shape, or form related. Instead, it's "GuidoWagner@t-online.de." More than likely, e-mails from someone who works for the City will have the word "evansville" in it, and end with .gov.

The City says if you or one of your coworkers have received an e-mail like the one above, or any type of suspicious e-mail, contact your company's IT Department, and let the Evansville Police know as well.

[Source: City of Evansville on Twitter]

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