190322_hwnews_merchant

Sheriff John Merchant

The Brown County Sheriff wanted to advise the community of a new financial concern circulating the area via e-mail.

Sheriff John Merchant said several county residents informed him that they are receiving e-mails from what appears to be an individual soliciting money for surgeries or health care needs of their loved ones. The e-mails are coming from an address of choose2help.org and they are requesting money for the surgery of a child. Upon further investigation, the server for choose2help is based out of Poland. This very same e-mail has made it’s way throughout many different countries and most of the United States.

Due to the fact this very same e-mail has made it’s way throughout many different countries and most of the United States, Sheriff Merchant said this is considered a “Spam” email. Spam email is sent for commercial purposes. While some people view it as unethical, many businesses still use spam. The cost per email is incredibly low, and businesses can send out mass quantities consistently. Spam email can also be a malicious attempt to gain access to your computer, he said.

At the present more than 95 percent of email messages sent worldwide is believed to be spam. Regardless of its purpose or origin, spam email should be recognized as a serious threat. Aside from the fact that it is extremely annoying, spam may contain malicious links or attachments and is often a vector for other serious attacks like phishing and malware.

“I will again remind all everyone that if you are not familiar with who you are dealing with, please do not open or reply to the e-mail,” he cautioned. “Never give out any personal information over the phone or by computer unless you are 100 percent certain of who you are dealing with. Also, remember to NEVER trust caller ID’s on the phone or e-mail addresses. One simply change can make the e-mail address seem like one you are familiar with, but actually is an attempt to gain access to your computer or financial information.”

Please contact your local law enforcement if you feel you have been a victim of a scam.

“Thank you to those who have brought this to my attention, by notifying the public, it prevents folks from losing their hard earned money.”

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