URGENT: Member Compromised by Phishing Scam - Here's How to Stay Safe
Recently LACERA members have reported that they have been targeted and or fallen victim to a phishing scam. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of being vigilant and informed about such threats. We urge you to read this post in its entirety to better protect your personal and financial information.
Here’s one example of the current scam. Recently, an unsolicited email was received by a member, inviting the member to a video retirement consultation session. The email included a date, time, and a suspicious link for a video conference. This was an unsolicited email from an individual claiming to be a “LACERA Retirement Specialist,” and asking the member to reply only to this email to confirm the appointment. When the member met with the individual on a video conference call, they asked the member to provide a variety of private and personal information.
Phishing is a cybercrime in which attackers trick individuals into revealing sensitive information (usernames, passwords, financial details) by disguising themselves as trustworthy entities through deceptive emails. It can be challenging to differentiate between legitimate and phishing emails.
To help you better recognize and avoid such threats, here are some additional steps and guidance:
- Verify the sender's email address: Official LACERA email communication will always come from the one of the following addresses: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. If you're not sure about a sender, hover your mouse over their email address to see if it matches the sender's claimed identity before clicking any links or responding to information requests.
- Example of a correct email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Example of an incorrect email address: email@example.com
- Initiate service requests yourself: LACERA does not send unsolicited emails scheduling retirement counseling or asking for your personal information. If you receive an email of this nature, it is a phishing attempt. Remember, members must initiate service requests by logging into My LACERA and sending a Secure Message to LACERA’s Member Services or Retiree Healthcare, scheduling an online appointment, or contacting us by phone.
NOTE: After a meeting with a Retirement Benefit Specialist, you’ll receive a text message with a link to a short survey so that you can rate your experience. This link is unique to you but will look like this: https://cxmlink.com/3E5DBQ98B2. Do not be afraid to click this link, it is secure and directly from LACERA.
- Beware of Unsolicited Requests for personal information: If you receive an email asking for your cell phone number, personal email, or other sensitive information, it is likely a phishing attempt.
- Educate yourself: Our Information Security team is dedicated to finding and sharing helpful tools and educational opportunities to help you spot phishing emails. To help you identify and avoid these malicious emails, we recommend watching this video from Microsoft.
Remember, if you are ever in doubt about any communication you receive that may appear to be from LACERA, you can always call us at 1-800-786-6464 to verify we are trying to contact you before responding.
Your security is of utmost importance to us. By following these guidelines and staying vigilant, we can work together to protect our community and your personal information from cyber threats.