The City of Chehalis issued a warning in the form of a news release on Friday, Nov. 17, concerning phishing scam emails that are circulating referring to “Chehalis, WA Utility.”
“This is not from the City of Chehalis,” the release stated. “It is a phishing email that is designed to get you to download a file that could contain a virus or a link to a website that will request private information.”
Phishing scams are one of the most common types of cybercrimes committed in the U.S., with over 500 million phishing attacks reported in 2022. Washington state ranks on the top 10 list of states most affected by phishing scams, according to Forbes Magazine.
Phishing involves a scammer, posing as a trustworthy organization, colleague or acquaintance, trying to get sensitive information, money or network access from the victim. According to Forbes, a total of 300,497 phishing scam victims lost a combined $52,089,159 across the U.S. in 2022.
If an email arrives unexpectedly and looks odd in any way, it is most likely a scam, according to the release. Residents are urged not to click on any links or attachments in suspected scam emails.
For reference, the release included a list of email characteristics that signify the possibility of a phishing scam attempt including:
• Urgent action demands
• Spelling errors and poor grammar and punctuation
• Unfamiliar greetings
• Requests for login credentials, payment information or other sensitive personal data
• Suspicious or unsolicited attachments
• Inconsistencies or errors in email addresses, website links and domain names
• Offers that sound too good to be true
If a resident has any questions about an email from the City of Chehalis or an email they suspect might be a phishing scam attempt, contact the Chehalis city clerk’s office at 360-345-1042.