I thought I would share something that I just had confirmed as a 'phishing' type email, although it didn't ask for money or information upfront, nor was it from a bank.
Since many on this web site are starting new businesses, or may have been in business for awhile please beware. It took two attorneys to confirm a 'bogus' email!
Four days ago (as the timing matters in this story) I received an email to Gigi's Fresh Baked from someone in China (automatically trigger for delete, right?) but the email didn't ask for money nor social security and came very official looking from a domain name company checking into a trademark for the name 'gigisfreshbaked' to be used by an Asian company. It stated that a company in Asia filed a request to trademark products using 'gigisfreshbaked' and that when a domain search was done, it showed that I owned the name. However, given that they were in China, if I didn't respond within a week (7 days exactly - hence" timing mattered) they would deem that as permission to trademark their products. But it didn't say where their products were sold.
I sent the letter to my business attorney, who like me, was suspicious of the letter but worried that if it were real they could come back and sue me or charge me for use of the name. She in turn, forwarded the letter to a trademark/patent attorney who after a little investigation, said (and I quote) "this is the most sophisticated and official looking email I have seen to date!"
She explained that these people send out these email in hopes that you respond. Then they get you to phone them, because they know what they are doing is illegal, then once they have you on the phone, that's when they try to get money out of you. They can't be traced over the phone and any complaints made, they say you initiated by phoning them.
So, there's my long story ... beware and be cautious!