Keeping ahead of spoofing and phishing scams

Be aware of trending scams

Scammers are smart. They are always seeking new opportunities to get people’s personal and financial data. You can be even smarter and protect yourself by following some basic tips and remaining aware of a few telltale signs of fraud.

We have received reports of customers being contacted by scammers posing as CenturyLink agents, asking for financial or personal details. Criminals may target our customers, pretending to be us or one of our partners. Please, be vigilant if you receive unsolicited calls or someone asks you for personal information.

How to protect yourself from scams

Fraudulent emails are commonly called “phishing” scams. Criminal callers may use a tactic called “spoofing” to make it appear on caller ID as if they are calling from a legitimate company. To keep yourself safe from imposters, who may contact you by phone or email, follow the guidelines below.

The DOs

  • DO pay close attention to the sender’s address on any email that appears to be from CenturyLink. Scammers often send out authentic-looking emails, including real company logos. See below for more on safe email addresses.

  • DO slow down if you are ever in doubt. Criminals pressure people into making bad decisions by creating a sense of urgency. If someone seem to be in a hurry, stop and take time to think or ask for outside input.

  • DO visit the FTC scam alert page regularly to learn more about current scams and things to watch for.

The DON'Ts

  • DO NOT provide personal or financial information, such as a social security number, credit/debit card number, PIN, or account number, to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly.

  • DO NOT download apps, click unknown links, or install any software at the request of an unknown caller or emailer.

  • DO NOT give out login information or grant access to your apps or devices.

  • DO NOT rely on caller ID to identify the source of a call, as scammers can spoof legitimate numbers.

What to do if you think you’ve been targeted by a scammer

If you suspect that someone is trying to scam you, hang up immediately. In the case of an email, keep the email for evidence, but do not reply to it. Note as many details as you can and report this information to the Federal Trade Commission.
 

If you believe you have been contacted by someone posing as a CenturyLink employee, or have received an email that appears to be from CenturyLink that you believe to be fraudent, please contact us to report the incident as soon as possible.
  

If you think that you may have been scammed and you are concerned that your personal information has been compromised, take these additional actions:
 

  • Change the password for any accounts that may be at risk (as well as any other accounts that use the same password).

  • If you believe a device may have been hacked or compromised, run a security scan to check for malware.

  • Contact your bank or credit card company if you believe your financial information may be compromised.

Learn more: Know the signs of fraud

Scammers are skilled manipulators, and they will say or do what they can to gain your trust. Criminals may target you through emails, text messages, or phone calls, pretending to be a company agent in order to trick you into sharing information that they can use to steal your money or data. They may use tactics such as these:

 

  • Convince you that your account is at risk and request payment information to bill you.

  • Explain that one of your devices needs urgent technical support, then request payment for repair services.

  • Request remote access to a device or try to convince you to install software that enables remote access.

  • Trick you into installing malicious software (malware, viruses, or spyware) that can capture your personal information, such as online usernames or passwords.

  • Request you to provide confidential information such as user IDs, passwords, customer support case numbers, or account history.

  • Become pushy, insist on keeping you on the phone for an extended time, or stress the importance of acting quickly.

 

All of the above are red flags. If you notice any of these signs, stop the conversation and report the issue by calling us or by forwarding a suspicious email to abuse@centurylinkservices.net. 

When does CenturyLink call customers?

  • If your bill is overdue and you are making a late payment, and in this case only, a customer service representative may call and ask you for payment information. If you are unsure, you can verify your bill status online through My CenturyLink.

  • If you contacted CenturyLink and requested help with a repair or customer service request, an agent may call you back to follow up. You will not be asked for your account number or payment information.

  • If you are eligible for special offers or upgrades, an agent may call you to offer these services. You may be asked to confirm your email address so that order details can be sent to you; you will not be asked for your account number or payment information.

  • If you have a repair or technician appointment, we may call you to confirm or reschedule your appointment. The calling agent will already have your account number and will not ask for payment.

 

In all other cases, be extremely cautious of any caller who contacts you unexpectedly, claiming to be a CenturyLink representative.

 

When in doubt, tell the person you will call back later. DO NOT call back using the same number they called from. Instead, call us directly using the correct contact number for your area listed on our Contact Us page, or chat with us. If there is a legitimate need, our agents will assist you. 

How can you tell if an email or text message is really from CenturyLink?

Any email from CenturyLink will come from a @centurylink.com or @lumen.com email address. Examples of legitimate company email addresses include:

  • something@lumen.com
  • something@centurylink.com
  • something@something.centurylink.com

 

Watch out for email addresses that may look legitimate at first glance, but contain small differences or are from a non-CenturyLink web domain address. For instance:

  • something@centurylimk.com
  • centurylink@tele.com

 

CenturyLink will never ask you to reply directly to an email with personal information, so if you receive such a request, it is a scam. If you suspect suspicious activity, we encourage you to contact us using the number on your bill.

What is CenturyLink doing to prevent fraud?

We work hard to protect our customers from fraud. CenturyLink partners with top cybersecurity experts to proactively prevent phishing scams and cybercrime. CenturyLink cooperates with fraud investigations as needed, while ensuring that your privacy is protected at all times. We also share threat intelligence with the FBI to help monitor and track information on criminals of fraud. Finally, we work to educate and empower our customers to prevent scams before they occur and take legal action when targeted by scammers. 

Access additional security features on the My CenturyLink app

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