ETC – Beware of current Email Scam and Fraud – Payment Portal

Dear ETC Customer,

Unfortunately, there are some who wish to exploit you through scams. More recently, we have customers reporting an email with the subject “Important Updates” that asks you to verirify your ETC setting.

Note: ETC HAS updated our Payment Portal. However scammers are trying to take advantage of our update to scam you with fake email notices.

Here is what the scam email looks like. The scammers are trying to make it look legitimate. Do not click their link.

This is a scam.

ETC wishes to remind you that it is common for malicious parties to take advantage of increased media attention of newsworthy events by implementing “spear phishing” attempts. These attempts will occur in digital ads and emails, often containing embedded links or purport to include exclusive photos or videos, prizes and other lures. These attempts are usually found on suspicious websites, or included as attachments or links in emails. However, that is not always the case. Protect yourself from these threats. Please review the following best practices:

Be wary of unsolicited attachments, even from people you know – Just because an email message looks like it came from a familiar source, malicious parties often “spoof” the return address, making it look like the message came from someone else. If you can, check with the person who supposedly sent the message to make sure it’s legitimate before opening any attachments. This also includes email messages that appear to be from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or software vendor claiming to include patches or anti-virus software. ISPs and software vendors do not send patches or software in email.

Keep software up to date – Install software patches so that attackers can’t take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should enable it.

Trust your instincts – If an email or email attachment seems suspicious, don’t open it, even if your antivirus software indicates that the message is virus free. Attackers are constantly releasing new viruses and most likely your anti-virus software does not have a signature for it yet. Don’t let your curiosity put your computer at risk.

Save and scan any attachments before opening them – If you have to open an attachment before you can verify the source, take the following steps:

  • Be sure the signatures in your anti-virus software are up to date.
  • Save the file to your computer or a disk.
  • Manually scan the file using your anti-virus software.

Turn off the option to automatically download attachments – To simplify the process of reading email, many email programs offer the feature to automatically download attachments. Check your settings to see if your software offers the option, and make sure to disable it.

View emails in “Plain Text” – many email applications have options to view emails in “Plain Text”, which will restrict link functionalities and other unnecessary, but potentially dangerous, features in emails. If possible, choose “plain text” in your email viewing options.

Apply additional security practices – You may be able to filter certain types of attachments through your email software or a firewall. Review the programs manual for further assistance.


ETC will never ask you to provide personal or financial information. Any ads, e-mails or text messages received asking for this type of information are not from ETC/Ellijay Telephone Company and should be considered fraudulent. If you have received an e-mail or text message of this type and have concerns that your information has been breached, please contact our Technical Support Line at 800-717-3710.

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