A new e-mail claiming to be from the Federal Reserve is hitting corporate in boxes around the country seeking to infect computers with malware. The Better Business Bureau of Detroit and Eastern Michigan is alerting businesses not to fall for this phishing attack.

The e-mail claims to be from the Federal Reserve and states that there are “new requirements for account protection due to frequent attacks.” It goes on to state, “We strongly insist you install the latest version of our system security update” and in turn, directs the reader to click on a link to download the update. The link, when clicked, could easily infect computers with malware.

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“E-mails attempting to infest computers with viruses are very common,” said Patrick Bennett, BBB Director of Community Relations. “Yet these phishing scams can be hard to detect because the scammers design the e-mail to appear official by using closely imitated logos and referencing legitimate agencies.”

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Your BBB advises businesses to be on the lookout for this scam and offers the following advice:
* Don’t click on any links or open any attachments to e-mails until you have confirmed that they are not malicious.
* E-mail addresses that don’t match up, typos and grammatical mistakes are common red flags of a malicious phishing e-mail.
* Beware of unsolicited e-mails from companies or organizations with which you have no association.
* Make sure you have current antivirus software and that all security patches have been installed on the computer.
* Legitimate businesses and organizations do not send e-mails claiming problems with an order or an account to lure the people into revealing financial information.
* If a business or consumer receives such an e-mail, BBB recommends picking up the phone and contacting the institution directly to confirm that there really is a problem.

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For more advice on staying safe online, visit http://easternmichigan.bbb.org/Consumer-Tips/.