Not only can junk and SPAM emails and phone calls be annoying…

they can be very dangerous.

Phishing scams cost U.S. businesses more than $1.2 billion in 2018. Thieves prey on unsuspecting individuals and convince them to click on links or provide information to gain access to your personal or business accounts, files, or data. Fraudulent emails, phone calls, and texts happen all year round but we usually see an uptick in activity around the holidays when people are more actively shopping and communicating online. Increased online activity, due to COVID-19, has also lead to an increase in criminal activity – for both businesses and individuals.

If you’re suspicious of an email, here are a few tips:

  • Never trust an email asking you to click a link or submit/confirm personal information
  • Check for misspellings, grammar mistakes, or odd phrases or sentences.
  • Be sure the sender’s domain (the part after the @ symbol in an email address) is either “goctc.com” or “connectctc.com”.
  • Do NOT enter your username, account information, or password when asked.

If you receive a phone call from someone saying they’re from CTC, remember that we will never ask for payment over the phone, unless you initiate it and we verify that you’re an approved contact on the account. When in doubt, hang up and call us directly at 218-454-1234.

If you receive a text message from a number you don’t recognize, don’t click on any links or reply. When in doubt, simply delete the message.

If you’re ever unsure about an email, phone call, or text message that says it’s from CTC, please contact us directly at 218-454-1234 or send a separate email to support@goctc.com.

And remember… the only phishing we want you to fall for involves a boat, bobber, and bait! 🐟

The Federal Trade Commission has some helpful resources for recognizing and avoiding phishing scams. Visit www.consumer.ftc.gov to learn more.


This video from Iowa State University provides a great overview of the six most common email threats and what to look for.

Phone Scams (or “Vishing”)

Please remember to stay diligent when protecting your personal information. Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, texts, visits, or email messages that you were not expecting. Sometimes these come from unknown individuals claiming to be from a legitimate organization.

If you receive any form of communication requesting personal information, such as your social security number, debit, or credit card number, do not give it out. Many organizations will not request personal information over the phone.

Recently, there have been many different scams happening over the phone. Not only to home or cell phones, but also workplaces since many employers have staff working remotely. If you are unsure of the legitimacy of a phone call, hang up and call the number you personally have as a contact or locate the main number via the company’s website.

Are you a business owner or working remotely?

CTC’s IT Solutions can help to protect your business from phishing and ransomware attacks. Learn more…

Real examples of phishing