WJTV News Channel 12 - Crooks send fake emails telling renters they're being evicted

Crooks send fake emails telling renters they're being evicted

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Even though she knew it was fake, Debi Haney still felt uneasy when she opened an email telling her she was being evicted.

"If you're vulnerable, if you're not quite computer savvy, you might open some of these things, and you're wiped out. They can get access to anything you might have on your computer."

Haney opened an email with this subject line: "Notice to quit the occupied premises, item no. 2323. She was curious enough to open it and then saw: "Please find a summary court statement enclosed to this letter. Legal action will occur if you do not comply with this notice."

It's a good thing Haney stopped before clicking on the attachment containing the supposed court judgement. That attachment was actually a computer virus that could have given crooks access to her identity.

Eric Oleson, an investigator with the Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Agency, says this is a new twist on phishing scam.

"What happens when you click on the link is they install some sort of spyware pretty secretively on on your computer to get personal or financial information from you," Oleson said. "Ultimately, that's what they're trying to get."

With so many people behind on their rent or mortgages, many are curious enough about the possible court document to click on the link. But Oleson warns: "Don't fall for it."

"Most of the time, well all of the time, court documents are going to delivered to you personally, either by a sheriff or process server, and you're not going to receive notice of it via email."

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