New scam email alerts you about sex offenders, steals your personal data

There’s a new email scam that’s targeting parents who worry a child predator may be living in their neighborhood.

The Better Business Bureau is warning you not to open any emails with the subject line, “Alert: There is a Child-Predator Living Near You.”

The BBB says the email claims to be a notification that “a registered-child-offender has just moved into your area” based on your “local area zip code.” It then provides a link to “learn more about this predator-alert.”

If you click the link, you’re redirected through several sites that install malware on your computer that searches for usernames, passwords and credit card information. You then end up on the page for “Kids Live Safe,” which is a legitimate BBB-accredited business. “Kids Live Safe” is not affiliated with the scam.

How can you protect yourself?

  • If you never signed up for custom email alerts, you shouldn’t be receiving them.
  • Check out the “From” field: Look out for email addresses that don’t match the brand used in the email message.
  • Watch for typos, strange phrasing and bad grammar.
  • Hover over URLs to reveal their true destination. Typically, the hyperlinked text will say one thing, but the link will point somewhere else.