Author Archives: markschaaf

Don’t fall for Phishing email about new security features

Don’t fall for Phishing email about new security features

TDS is receiving reports of a new round of phishing emails hitting inboxes which means it’s time to brush up on our phishing-spotting skills. One example of a recent phishing email states: We have added new security features to our system, to view the changes click on the below link.

Please do not click on this link. They are asking for personal information, which you should not provide.

Phishing attempts typically try to scare you into clicking on links and/or open a Google form and provide information. Remember: any company you do business with, including TDS, should already have the information being requested. And, when in doubt, contact the company directly rather than using links or information included in an email (get a refresher on five ways to spot a phishing scam).

If you’ve ever wondered how scammers even get your email address in the first place, here are some of the ways they do it (according to MicrosoftThe Balance Everyday, and others):

  1. They use web crawlers that look for the @ symbol. Scammers have developed sophisticated automated tools that search the internet and gather email addresses. These can be found in insecure files, blog comments, winner lists, or even on social media profiles.
  2. They guess. Scammers will gather lists of common names and words, and combine them with popular email address services/internet service providers and just try and and see if it works. Again, scammers are using tools to do this by the thousands.
  3. They buy lists. Read the privacy policy on any website before handing of your email—the company may be able to legally sell your information, including your email address. On the dark web, there are also illegal lists available to purchase.
  4. Hacking. Cybercriminals are not above hacking into databases to get email addresses. They can use them, or they can sell what they find—or both.
  5. Fake websites. Fake sweepstakes are a classic method for getting people to readily give away their information. Always double check that it’s legitimate by checking out the company tied to the offer, and looking out for misspellings, bad grammar, and vague details.

One thing is for sure, phishing isn’t going anyway any time soon—not as long as people continue to fall for these scams. In the meantime, stay on your toes, and be sure to refresh your memory about how to spot a phishing scam (with real-life examples of attempts our customers have received!).

If you receive a phishing email, the Federal Trade Commission says you can report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov and forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org. (If scammers contact you by text message or phone, report that, too.)

P.S. If you’re wondering if an email request for information is real, contact the business who “sent” it—but don’t use any links or phone numbers provided. Instead, look up their website yourself and/or give them a call (you should look that info up yourself, too). It’s the safest way to confirm whether the request in your inbox is for real.

ROOT SPORTS Northwest overflow channel schedule

ROOT SPORTS Northwest is the proud television home of the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Kraken, Seattle Seawolves, Portland Timbers, Gonzaga Bulldogs, and Big Sky Conference. Occasionally, scheduling conflicts arise between local and regional sports offerings. The good news is that ROOT SPORTS offers an overflow channel, ROOT SPORTS Plus, so that… Continue Reading

Free HBO and Cinemax preview May 3-9

BendBroadband and HBO® and Cinemax® are teaming up for a FREE preview Tuesday, May 3 through Monday, May 9! Catch up on new, classic and cult favorites. Enjoy new episodes of HBO’s Winning Time, Barry, A Black Lady Sketch Show, The Baby, We Own This City, Gentleman Jack and MORE! Watch the recent blockbuster hit The Batman and other recent top movies, including King Richard, F9:… Continue Reading

BendBroadband supports The Giving Plate

BendBroadband supports The Giving Plate

BendBroadband has donated $10,000 to The Giving Plate’s Capital Campaign, a fundraising effort for a new facility to fight hunger in Central Oregon. Jim Butman, CEO of TDS Telecommunications LLC (which includes BendBroadband), visited The Giving Plate on April 12 to present a check and see The Giving Plate’s future space. “As Central Oregon’s largest… Continue Reading

How scammers get your email

How scammers get your email

We’re getting reports of a new round of phishing emails hitting inboxes which means it’s time to brush off your phishing-spotting skills. Phishing attempts typically try to scare you into clicking on links and/or open a Google form and provide information. Remember: any company you do business with should already have the information being requested.… Continue Reading

Ken Burns documentary on Benjamin Franklin premieres

Ken Burns documentary on Benjamin Franklin premieres

Ken Burns is back with a four-hour documentary on Benjamin Franklin. The two episode series explores the revolutionary life of one of the 18th century’s most influential figures, whose work and words unlocked the mystery of electricity, helped craft the Declaration of Independence, and win French support for the American Revolution. Benjamin Franklin began Monday,… Continue Reading

College basketball heating up – watch on BendBroadband TV

College basketball heating up – watch on BendBroadband TV

The excitement of the annual college basketball postseason is just around the corner, and you won’t have to miss a minute with BendBroadband TV. The action begins with the opening games March 15-16 and continues all the way to the championship on April 4. BendBroadband TV has all the networks that will carry tournament games.… Continue Reading

BendBroadband blocking more spam calls than ever

BendBroadband blocking more spam calls than ever

In recent years, what has been the No. 1 complaint to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding telephones? If you answered spam calls, often in the form of “robocalls,” you’re correct! Robocalling is defined as automated calling used to deliver a prerecorded message, often for illegal purposes. Back in January 2021, TDS announced plans to… Continue Reading