Citing “an abundance of caution,” Mercury Marine notified suppliers yesterday via email that it had learned of a third party sending “fraudulent email notices” in the name of Chris Drees, the president of Mercury Marine. As reported by multiple media sources including USA Today and CNBC as well as the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, such scams have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, much as they did during the recession of 2008, and are not likely to abate during the ongoing crisis.
Propulsion giant Mercury Marine is warning suppliers against “phishing” scams.
“If you receive requests via email or traditional mail from anyone claiming to represent Mercury Marine, it is important that you contact a trusted source at Mercury Marine via an independent phone number and seek verification of the request,” wrote Sekhar Visvanathan, Mercury Marine’s vice president of global procurement and quality, in the email.
Though the correspondence was specific to Mercury Marine suppliers, it offered excellent general advice for avoiding such “phishing” scams, even at the consumer level:
• Be wary of emails asking for confidential information, especially of a financial nature.
• Beware of “generic” requests for information. Fraudulent emails are often impersonal in appearance.
• Never submit confidential information via forms embedded within email messages.
• Never use links in an email unless you are absolutely sure they are authentic—phishing websites often mimic legitimate websites. Instead, open a new browser window and type the URL directly in the address bar.
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