RALEIGH – The N.C. Division of Public Health has received reports that scam artists are sending fraudulent emails about H1N1 flu vaccinations to anyone with an email address to try to steal personal information from them and/or to cause harm to their computers. Such email scams are called “phishing.” This particular email scam asks people to create a “Vaccination Profile” and claims to be part of a “State Vaccination Program for the H1N1 from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It provides a link to a fake CDC webpage that asks for your information. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A “PERSONAL VACCINATION PROFILE” AS MENTIONED IN THE PHISHING EMAIL. H1N1 vaccine is available from many healthcare providers, including local health departments, and no special registration is required. Please visit flu.nc.gov to find vaccine providers in your area. People are warned not to follow the directions in the email. The email is believed to be an attempt to steal your passwords or to secretly download unwanted, malicious code on your computer. If you receive such an email, delete it. Do not respond to it and don’t click on any links or enter any personal information. We remind Internet users to take the following steps to reduce the risk of being a victim of a phishing attack: · ALWAYS use caution when entering personal information online. · Do not click on links that you have not requested. · Do not open or respond to email messages from people you do not know, and delete those messages without opening them. · Use caution when visiting unfamiliar websites. For more information about the e-mail scam, see the CDC’s “Hoaxes and Rumors” webpage at www.cdc.gov/hoaxes_rumors.html. For reliable flu and immunization information, see www.flu.nc.gov.
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