I got a very funny email at work today. I try to keep up on my junk e-mail folder in Outlook so that I won’t accidentally miss something important. Today there was one with the subject “Urgent Information” that was listed as “From: Internet Scam Investigation” so of course I was intrigued.
For those who aren’t really familiar with internet security best practices, NEVER EVER EVER open an email from an unknown sender, especially with a name like Internet Scam Investigation because there is no legitimate organization that does such things.
Another good indicator of malmail (malware-email) is the generic “Urgent Information” subject. Again, people I know that actually have urgent information for me don’t do that. The combination of bad subject and bad sender should put your finger on the delete button so fast that your mouse gets hot. The only warning flag that was missing was an unexpected attachment – delete those too. Don’t worry about what’s in them, it’s nothing good. When in doubt, throw it out – or in other words delete it. For more on those look at my earlier post on personal computer security.
So of course I opened the email and read it. Now take note, this is a very foolish thing to do if you don’t know what you’re doing. Do what I say, not what I do in this case. I opened it as as cybersecurity professional in a controlled environment where it couldn’t hurt me. Don’t try this at home!
In short, the email warns that there are a lot of scams out there that are promising you money and you should be aware of them. If you really want to know if any are legit, these are the Nigerians that will tell you the truth.
For your amusement only, the full email is below. And after that some links to computer security software, for those who haven’t caught up with the 21st century yet.
Be on the alert for personal security. NO ONE SENDS YOU MONEY IN EMAIL. And at the very least make sure you’re running some kind of security software on your computer, like those below. If you have questions are suggestions please let me know.