This morning a spammer used a City of Bothell staff email account to send out several fake emails to other agencies and some members of the public. The email may look similar to this image below, asking you to “View Encrypted Message” and then opening a link asking for a password. If you opened this email, clicked the link and provided your login credentials, it is possible unauthorized emails were then sent from your own email account. We are still investigating the impacts, but please do not open any suspicious or unexpected emails that may appear to come from City of Bothell staff.
Carefully check any emails you have recently received that appear to be from the City of Bothell and any links provided. You can inspect a link by hovering your mouse button over the URL to see where it leads. Sometimes, it’s obvious the web address or login requests are not legitimate, but often they look real. City of Bothell staff will never ask for your personal login info and will typically only refer you to our own website, www.bothellwa.gov, or other credible government agency websites, such as county or state websites.
Delete any suspicious emails. If you are currently working with city staff on a project or issue today and are unsure about an email received, you can always call the office or staffer you have been working with to verify.
Other Things to Consider:
Look for generic greetings. Malicious emails are unlikely to use your name. Greetings like “Dear sir or madam” signal an email is not legitimate.
Watch for spelling and grammatical mistakes. If an email includes spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors, it’s likely a sign you’ve received a phishing email. Delete it.
Avoid emails that insist you act now. Nefarious emails often try to create a sense of urgency or demand immediate action. The goal is to get you to click on a link or provide personal information — right now. Instead, delete the message.
For questions about this incident, email Michele Woodhouse, firstname.lastname@example.org, Information Services Department, (425) 806-6177 or call our main number at (425) 806-6100.