Some of the customers who pre-ordered the Essential phone have reported receiving suspicious emails demanding for ” additional verifying information.” Based on the copy someone posted on Reddit, the email is asking for a Photo ID with a clear picture, signature and current billing address. The email was sent by an @essential id, however, the company announces that it’s investigating and has “taken steps to mitigate” the issue, then it’s best to consider it as a phishing emails or a scam of some kind. Needless to say, do not respond to it if you’ve received something similar.
We’re aware of & looking into a recent e-mail received by some customers. We’ve taken steps to mitigate & will update with more info soon.
— Essential (@essential) August 30, 2017
As per the responses on Twitter and in the original Reddit threads, every received email has various recipients, and a lot of people have already replied with copies of their IDs. Worse, they CCed the other recipients in their replies, putting themselves at even more risk. Some reported receiving fraudulent transactions on their credit cards, as well.
It’s actually quite obvious to fall for the scheme since the email’s identifying headers seem to check out, and it’s not a secret that the company is facing supply issues. However, because the company hasn’t issued any official statement yet, there are lots of assumptions roaming around. In addition to the likelihood that it’s a scam, some people believe the company just misconfigured their email and sent it to various people at once, while others hold the assumption Essential was hacked. Here’s the full copy of the email people have been receiving:
On Aug 29, 2017, at 9:23 PM, Customer Care [email protected] wrote:
Our order review team requires additional verifying information to complete the processing of your recent order.
This verification is performed to protect against unauthorized use of your payment information and similar to what is conducted for in-person purchases.
Please provide an alternative email and phone number to confirm this purchase…
We would like to request a picture of a photo ID (e.g. driver’s license, state ID, passport) clearly showing your photo, signature and address. NOTE: the address on the ID should match the billing address listed on your recent order.
We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation. Once verified, we look forward to shipping your order.
Essential Products Customer Care