Possible information phishing

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bryan.hatton
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Possible information phishing

#1

Post by bryan.hatton »

So I don't use Family search on a regular basis, so when I got messaged out of the blue from someone I have no idea of asking me to enable relationships viewing, the computer security part of me started to ask why.

I was thinking about how many reset questions answers there could be there. Think mother's maiden name. Father's middle name etc.

Anyone else getting requests like that?

For what it is worth, I asked if they had a specific branch that they had a question about with no response.
rmrichesjr
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Location: Dundee, Oregon, USA

Re: Possible information phishing

#2

Post by rmrichesjr »

Was the message initiated by Family Search staff/organization or by another J. Random User of FamilySearch?
russellhltn
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Re: Possible information phishing

#3

Post by russellhltn »

The message is part of a messaging function of the website. It appears to come from another user, but the message appears to be auto-generated. I know that because I have a number of identical messages received over the past few years:
It would be nice to see how we are related as we work together on our shared family tree.

Please go to FamilySearch settings and enable relationship viewing, so we can see how we are related.
If you go to change that setting, you'll discover it's site-wide and not just for the requestor.

Personally, I think it's a bit underhanded to make it sound like the message was composed by another user when in fact it's a template.

Originally, I thought it was FS, but it might be a partner software package.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.
davesudweeks
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Location: Oklahoma, USA

Re: Possible information phishing

#4

Post by davesudweeks »

I think the relationship viewing function is FS. If you click on the name of another person who has added a source to one of your ancestors, the popup will show you how you are related to them if they are allowing relationship viewing (along with a link to send them a FS message and their email address if they made it public). I certainly could be wrong, but that appears to be FS functionality and not another application.
russellhltn
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Re: Possible information phishing

#5

Post by russellhltn »

Yes, but there are a number of partner apps that will "front end" Family Search. So, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that one of those packages may have a feature to send a request if it's not enabled.

I've tried, but have not found that function on the FS website. So, I'm leaving open the possibility that it's someone other than FS that creating the authentic sounding, but auto-generated verbiage.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.
davesudweeks
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Re: Possible information phishing

#6

Post by davesudweeks »

I pulled up my grandmother's Person Page and looked at her sources - one was attached by my brother. He is not relationship sharing. When I requested it, FS generated the exact message pasted above. I didn't have the opportunity to edit - clicking on the link generated and sent the message from within FS (I suppose there could be other software at work here, but nothing I have activated that I'm aware of).
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davesudweeks
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Re: Possible information phishing

#7

Post by davesudweeks »

The contact box above appears when you click on the name of someone who has attached a source to FS. I don't know if it is available elsewhere.
russellhltn
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Re: Possible information phishing

#8

Post by russellhltn »

Ok, we can put this squarely on the shoulders of FS. I was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.
davesudweeks
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Location: Oklahoma, USA

Re: Possible information phishing

#9

Post by davesudweeks »

russellhltn wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 1:03 am Ok, we can put this squarely on the shoulders of FS.
Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, in my opinion. I think they could adjust the wording to be less cryptic, but letting us share how we are related can be helpful for those who are interested.
battlestooge
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2021 9:57 pm

Re: Possible information phishing

#10

Post by battlestooge »

I received an email today that looked like a phishing attempt as well. But it has to do with giving information so my mission president could keep in touch with me. But it has been a couple of decades since I served a mission so it seemed very suspicious. I didn't click the link because I didn't trust it. Does anyone know of a better way to report something like this other than forums to get the word out if it is legitimate or not? I fear there are many people that could fall prey to this if it is not from the church. The email looks very good if it is a phishing attempt.

See attached screen snipping to see how the email looks. If this is indeed from the church, I think it would be more secure to simply give directions on how to do this information sharing opt in through the church site.

-Daniel Kelley
Attachments
phishing email.PNG
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