DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Auditor Rob Sand said Monday he was the target of an attempted email scam in which someone pretended to be him and unsuccessfully tried to move his paycheck deposit to a different bank account.
Sand used his own experience as Iowa’s top financial accountability officer to warn people about ways fraudulent emails can be designed to give scammers access to tax refunds or paycheck deposits.
A human resources worker in the Iowa Department of Administrative Services contacted Sand on May 13 to alert him to an email requesting a change in Sand’s direct deposit. Sand confirmed the email was fake.
Sand said the HR employee did what his office advises when receiving requests to redirect payments and contacted the person separately rather than replying to the email. Such scams should be reported to the state auditor and the FBI, Sand said.
There was no way to track down who attempted the scam, Sand said.
He said email scams can often be detected by looking at the email address carefully. Slight variations in the email address or URL could be a sign of a scam. Other advice is to not click on links in unsolicited emails or text messages and to not download email attachments from unfamiliar people.