It’s maddening every time we get wind of someone misrepresenting themselves as the AVMA through bogus email solicitations. We don’t see them very often, but we always act immediately to protect both you and the AMVA when it does happen.
We were recently made aware of an email scam using AVMA’s name, and we want to make sure you know that it didn’t come from us. The fraudulent email was an invitation allegedly sent by the Veterinary Practice Resource Center that invited veterinarians to sign up for an “AVMA PURE CONTENT Free Webinar.”
The email sender was listed as Veterinary_Practice_Center@mail.vresp.com, which is not an AVMA domain. The email states that AVMA is “providing exclusive access” to the webinar and it lists our headquarters address in Schaumburg, Ill. We aren’t sure how many members or veterinarians received it, but if you did get it, you need to know that it is NOT an AVMA product, and that we do not have any affiliation with the webinar provider. We investigated the source of the email and were able to rectify the situation.
While the Veterinary Practice Resource Center (VPRC) is a real section of the AVMA website, AVMA members are not sent emails directly from the VPRC. As a matter of fact, the AVMA rarely sends blast emails to our members and has very specific policy statements regarding the use of our members’ email addresses.
If you receive an email that appears to be from the AVMA but you’re suspicious of the content, you can always call (1-800-248-2862) or email us (email@example.com) to check on it. We’d also appreciate the heads-up so we can investigate the matter. And if it’s a real email, we’d want to know what we’re doing to trigger suspicions so we can fix it.
And while we’ve got the opportunity, here are a few tips on recognizing and dealing with suspicious emails:
1. Learn the legitimate sender addresses so you can recognize incorrect ones. For example, anything you’d receive from the AVMA will have an AVMA domain.
2. Consistent spelling, capitalization and/or punctuation errors should make you suspicious. Sure, we’re all human, so one error might have slipped through the proofreading process; but the more errors there are, the more suspicious you should be.
3. NEVER click links in a suspicious email, and don’t reply to the email. If it appears to be from a bank or credit company with which you do business, but you’re suspicious of the email, contact the company using the information on your card or bank statement, or go directly to their legitimate website.
4. Banks, credit card companies, etc. will never ask you for your personal information via email or text. Neither will we.
5. Never open attachments from senders you don’t recognize or can’t verify.
For more information on protecting yourself from phishing and other scams, and preventing identity theft, visit http://onguardonline.gov/.