Ordering in tonight?
Crooks are sending out fake delivery confirmation emails hoping you click the links. We talked to a cyber expert who exposed the high-tech tricks that crooks use to fool you.
It was another typical day of making pizzas at Giuseppe's in Richmond, Virginia -- until we told them about crooks using the company's name in emails hoping to collect personal information.
Manger Gloria Finnegan said she was"very shocked, because we have never had anything like this done, never and we have been in business 30-something years."
Giuseppe's Pizza is not alone — crooks are randomly using names of pizza restaurants. On the surface, the email looks fine. But when you get to the end, it hits you: An outrageous charge. Then there is a message that says if you haven't made the order and think it's fraud, click a link.
Cyber Expert Domingo Rivera with AVM Technology said don't fall for it.
As an experiment, Rivera clicked the link on a test computer.
"It tells you, 'okay, please wait a second' and it looks like it's loading something, but what it actually is doing is downloading two pieces of software on your machine," he explained.
That software is dangerous. Crooks can install a tracker that steals your information or transforms your computer into a zombie, giving criminals control.
"You may come back at 3:00 in the morning and have your computer on and see the mouse moving around," Rivera added.
Back at Giuseppe's, they were even more frustrated by the scam — the pizza shop doesn't even deliver.
"They are doing it for a reason and the reason can only be to rip people off," said Finnegan.
Rivera was actually able to trace where these criminals may be operating. His investigation lead him to South Korea.
"We have also traced them back to South Africa, the U.K., Germany, places in Europe, Japan, and the Middle East," he said.
Do they ever get caught?
"The best you can do is to protect yourself," said Rivera. "Even the government has not been very successful in catching these people."
That protection is as simple as making sure your anti-virus software is updated.
Rivera said this was a low-level attack. He said crooks used an online kit anyone can get their hands on, but expert cyber criminals are out there.
"The better ones may even come back with a screen saying, 'We apologize for the error. Your order has been canceled. Thank you for letting us know about the fraud.' So it might look legit, so you think you can sleep at night thinking you are safe," he explained.
If you get one of these pizza confirmation emails, don't click the link -- delete it. If you have clicked the link, make sure to run your anti-virus program and keep a close eye on your bank account and credit card information.
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