HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)– The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a “clone phishing” scam that is becoming more popular.

According to the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, cybercriminals will use this technique to imitate your follow-up emails and take advantage of you.

In a clone phishing scam, cybercriminals will hijack an email account from an organization that is legitimate. They will then find an email that was previously sent to you and clone it. In this clone email, criminals will add words and texts that were not in the original email in an attempt to make it look legitimate.

A clone email it will typically state that the original email was missing an attachment and it will sound urgent.

The sheriff’s office said if you download this attachment, you won’t receive the information you’re looking for. Instead, you’ll download malware and cybercriminals will now be able to take your personal and sensitive information.

According to the Better Business Bureau, phishing scams can show up in many different ways. They can come in as threatened punishments, a text message, a phone call or even a prized offer.

Barry Moore is the President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau. Moore said phishing scams are happening every day and there are regular complaints on scam tracker.

“It’s all in the language. It’s all in the spelling of words and what they’re asking for,” Moore said. “When they start asking you information that they should really already know about, your antenna should go up.”

The sense of urgency in the email should be a red flag.

“Resist the pressure to act immediately,” Moore said. “In a lot of these scams, time is running out. Well, time is not running out. If it’s a legitimate company, they’re not going to talk to you that way. They’re professionals,”

To avoid being a victim of this scam, Hanover County Sheriff’s Office recommends to not trust that an email is legitimate just because it was sent via an email address that you trust.

Secondly, the sheriff’s office said to never click on an attachment in an email if you are not expecting it. Cybercriminals are hoping that you will react quick.

The Better Business Bureau also says to look out for signs of solicitation. Unexpected communication asking for personal information or telling you to download an attachment is a red flag.