Just a quick reminder to keep yourself safe in your email. Some of the phishing scams are incredibly good – they imitate the actual emails that a bank or company will send with the same icons and layout. It’s usually the email address and URL they’re trying to redirect you to that gives it away.
Remember, don’t just check URL’s in your email before clicking them. Don’t click them at all, instead if you’re concerned go to the site by typing in it’s name, like mybank.com rather than clicking a link. That way you’ll be safe even from the really good fakes.
Also watch out for scams that are just too ridiculous. They come in email, text messages, and voice mails. I constantly get warnings from the “IRS” that marshals are one the way. How do people think that’s accurate? I mean you can hate the IRS but that’s still not how they operate. And why do you think they’d come after you? I guess if you haven’t actually paid your taxes maybe it’s easier to get fooled by this. I had fun the other day when I was bored and answered one of these calls. Then I told the person I was onto their scam, and calling the police, and marshals were indeed on the way, but to them, not me. They hung up quickly. A waste of my time, I know, but I enjoyed it anyway.
Finally, watch out for the get rich quick scams – there is no simple thing for you to invest in that industry is trying to hide but you’re going to make a fortune. Add to this the foreign money laundering schemes, Nigerian prince emails, rich dead uncles, and the like. Let me make it simple – there is no one out there who’s just waiting to hand you millions of dollars, or even thousands, or even hundreds. Delete the email/text/voicemail and just move on.
For your entertainment, here’s an email I got today, purportedly from the director of the FBI, who somehow knows my email address but not my name. He’s reminding me that I have $10 million due to me and he’s thoroughly checked it out and for sure it’s legit! Note the ridiculous email address they refer to, and it came from firstname.lastname@example.org because somehow the director didn’t get an official work email address. Poor guy – guess they’re really struggling these days.phishing-fbi-citibank-2017-10
As an exercise, here’s a few of the things that are wrong with this email:
- The “From:” email address clearly is not the FBI
- addressed to “dear beneficiary” – they don’t know my name
- The director of the FBI isn’t sending me any email – not happening
- Citibank supposed email address – again not a Citibank email domain
- FBI supposed address at the bottom – still not official FBI.gov domain, and different from the sender email, even though the email warns me explicitly to not trust such things
- Why do I think this is my money?
Stay safe out there – phishing schemes and identity theft are rampant. By the way, if you need to report a scam to the FBI here’s the FBI E-scams and safety page.
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