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OGDEN — A scam email masquerading as a warning from the Ogden City Council is sweeping through the city, and police are urging residents not to fall for the ploy.
The email “uses scare tactics” and claims Ogden has witnessed a drastic increase in crime, then provides a link for readers to purchase a residential home security system, according to a Monday Facebook post from the Ogden Police Department.
“THIS IS A FRAUD AND IS FALSE,” the post reads.
In reality, serious crime in Ogden saw a dramatic decrease in 2018, and 2019 is also on a downward trend. Ogden police claimed in the post that serious crime dropped 20.1 percent in 2018, though KSL.com reported in February that it had dropped 19.7 percent. Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell described the decrease as the largest single-year drop in major crimes since the city began keeping records.
Phishing attempts like the scam email can be recognized by four identifying features, police said, including:
- Offering things that are too good to be true
- Attempting to make the reader act with a sense of urgency
- Including suspicious hyperlinks or attachments
- Originating from unusual senders
The city also uses a product called CodeRED, which allows emergency officials to notify residents and businesses via telephone, cellphone, text message, email and social media when a time-sensitive issue or emergency occurs. Residents can sign up for CodeRED if they wish to receive those notifications.