How do I protect against fraud?

Information concerning various means of fraud attempts, focused primarily on the Internet, such as Spam or Phishing email.

Overview

GCI is committed to protecting your privacy while using GCI Internet and telephone services. We value you as a customer.

GCI is in the process of updating our Spam and Virus filter application supporting email. This update requires no action by you. If you get any email messages requesting your username or password for any update, those are phishing attempts, please do not respond to the email, just delete it.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about an email, text message or phone call you receive from someone identifying themselves as a GCI representative. GCI technical support is open 24/7 365 days a year. We encourage you do one of the following to validate that inquiry:

  1. Email support@gci.net to validate the authenticity of the message if received via email;
  2. Call GCI’s customer service directly at:
  • Residential: 265-5400 (Anchorage) or 800-800-4800 (Statewide & Lower 49)
  • Business: 265-5454 (Anchorage) or 800-800-7754 (Statewide & Lower 49)

back to top

Phone Scam

Last reports to GCI of a pretexting attempt was March /April 2012.

The calling party had personal information in regards to the customer, to include name, address, and telephone number. The calling party stated that they would be willing to take remote control of the GCI customer’s computer to install an application to fix malware/viruses issues, requested permission to connect and a credit card number. Just hang up on the customer! This is not GCI nor is GCI providing anyone your personal information. This personal information can be found in many public information locations, such as facebook, twitter, youmail, phone books, or any number of public avenues.

Information on this subject and to report possible identity theft can be found on the Federal Trade Commission site at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre10.shtm

In the past, several GCI customers received a call from an individual claiming to be working with different companies; asking what the GCI customer’s problem with Windows 7 program was. Company name will most likely change, but MicroSoft and MB Industries have been used.

The unidentified caller, stated that “they could easily find the problem, all the GCI customer had to do was to allow the caller to remotely connect to the computer.” In these cases the GCI callers said no and hung up. That was the correct response. This is a new technique being reported to GCI. This is not GCI technical support, nor to the best of our knowledge is it a valid representative from any company. It is a strong Phishing / Pretexting event. The phone number displayed by Caller ID, was to a disconnected phone number, which means the caller is spoofing the number.

Again, just say no and hang up on the caller.

back to top

Fraudulent Email Alert

GCI Internet customers have reported receiving suspicious emails that appear to be from GCI requesting GCI account information. As a general policy, GCI never requests your account information such as account numbers, user names or passwords via unsolicited e-mail.

Due to a significant increase in the number of these types of emails, we wanted to provide you with an alert about safe online practices and interactions with GCI regarding your account and services.

If you receive an e-mail claiming to be from GCI that you were not expecting to receive, and the message requests you to update OR provide sensitive account information or confirm your username/password, do not reply to the e-mail as it is most likely a scam (also known online as a “phishing scam”). Please note that these 3rd parties often send messages that appear to come from GCI email addresses but they are not.

In addition, GCI would strongly encourage you not to click on web links sent to you in email and then provide personal or account information on those sites. These links may take you to pages that look similar to GCI, your financial institution, or other familiar sites but are in fact imitation sites set up to acquire your personal information with malicious intent.

The most secure way to access a web site is to open your web browser and either type in the site address yourself (www.gci.net or www.gci.com) or use your existing bookmark (as opposed to clicking on any links in an email). If you do receive a phishing message that appears to be from GCI, please forward that message to us at support@gci.net so we can address the issue.

back to top

Texting (SMS) Messages & SMSiShing

GCI has not had any actual reports of this occurring to GCI customers, however all Wireless users need to be aware of this possibility. Wireless user receives a text (SMS) message from a financial institution, indicating your account is locked.
The message provides an 888 phone number to “verify” the account. If you call the number, a message prompts you for your Social Security Number, Credit Card Number, and Driver’s License Number. This then exposes you to identity theft, or credit card fraud.
Your action: Just delete the SPAM SMS Text message.

back to top

Phishing and Pretexting Explained

GCI has seen an increase in phishing attempts against GCI customers both in email attempts, and even some reported cases of pretexting using phone calls. These requests are attempts to obtain personnel information such as username, passwords, or credit card information. This information is then used for criminal purposes such as spamming, theft or identity theft.

  • Phishing:The attempt to criminally and fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity.
  • Pretexting: Is the act of creating and using an invented scenario (the pretext) to persuade a target (you) to release information or perform an action and is typically done over the telephone

Some steps you can take to help protect yourself

  • Be suspicious of unsolicited email and phone calls
    • Delete the email
    • Hang up on the caller
  • Do not provide usernames, passwords, credit card, social security number, and date of birth on an email or over the phone to an unknown source
    • Call them on a phone number you acquire from a different source
    • Visit their web site, directly or by a performing a web search.
  • Do not click on the links of the email, if you need to contact the company
    • Call them on a phone number you acquire from a different source
    • Visit their web site, directly or by a performing a web search.
  • This includes emails with coupons to a retailer
    • Security experts believe this will lead recipients into phishing schemes.
    • It is recommended you go to the retailer’s web site and navigate to special coupons or promotions listed on the site
  • Keep your computer and programs up-to-date
  • Use a good anti-virus and anti-spy ware program
  • If you think the email or phone call may have come from GCI, you should call GCI, at any of our published phone numbers.
    • Remember GCI technical support is open 24/7 365 days a year and can be reached through 265-5400.

GCI takes these attempts seriously, and will shut down accounts of GCI customers knowingly participating in such activities. If you are in doubt, please contact GCI.

More subject information about these issues may be found at the links below:

More information about how to protect yourself may be found at these sites:

 

back to top 

SPAM & Phishing Email Examples

Fraudulent email examples, may be found on a seperate article, please click here to view those examples.

GCI sent an email to all GCI.net email accounts announcing an upgrade to our Webmail portal. This is not a phishing email. You will not need to take any action for this upgrade, such as clicking on links or responding to any emails. This will be an automatic upgrade.

Not Phishing

back to top

Related Articles

Phishing / Spam Email Examples

back to top