Many of you may have received a message posted to MuniNet by Secretary of State Condos this morning in response to what appears to be an email scam that claims to be affiliated with the Secretary of State’s Office.
Email-based scams have become increasingly sophisticated, often looking as though they have come from familiar and trusted sources. Municipal officials are often the target of these fraudulent messages, since our email addresses are readily accessible online. We must all be vigilant and read our incoming messages carefully.
I have included the message from Secretary Condos below for your reference. It gives information on the fraudulent email in question and tips about what to do with the email if you were a recipient. I have also included a link to a sample of the fraudulent email that went out soliciting donations.
Please share this information with your colleagues and staff so everyone is aware this scam is out there.
Executive Director, VLCT
MESSAGE FROM SECRETARY CONDOS
You may have seen an email message that appears to be from the VT Secretary of State’s office this morning promoting a FUNDLY donation link to help a daughter in need of an operation.
The email has a VT Secretary of State header and what looks like a legitimate email address.
This email is FRAUDULENT and not associated with this office in any way.
* Do not click any of the links in the email.
* Do not donate any money. This email is a spear-phishing scam.
We have had many contacts from people who have received this email – all appear to be current or former municipal officials whose email addresses are publicly available. It would be prudent to contact ALL municipal officials in your towns to notify of this scam. If you know of others who have received this email please notify them that it is fraudulent, and instruct them not to click any of the links in the email or donate.
Our office has reported this website for fraudulent activity to the Attorney General’s office, and have requested that the owners immediately take it down and return any and all donations that may have come in.