I think I almost got tricked by a spam email

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I got my radar instinct piqued though before I actually downloaded the "packing slip" that they wanted me to download.

    It appeared to be a totally legit email from the UPS telling me that a package was unable to be delivered to me because the address was incorrect. This is completely possible because nowadays people ask for your email when you order something. AND I recently did have a something that should be coming through the mail!

    What I found odd upon second reading was the date. 12/2/09. Ok...that is a long time ago! I dont remember missing any packages and I would have been frantic if I was missing something.

    So before I downloaded the packing slip, I checked the header on the email. Nope...not sent to MY email account! Sent to some other email account. DELETE!
  2. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    smart girl! I never did understand the thrill of giving someone a virus................
  3. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I get emails like that and they always end up in my spam folder - I just delete them without opening them. I get ones that say there is some kind of delivery problem witih something I ordered, ones that say an email I sent has been returned, and even some that say that I sent them to myself! I don't open ANYTHING that is in the spam folder, no matter what.

    The sneakiest ones lately are the ones that are supposedly from my internet carrier saying they are suspending my account because of some kind of problem! I don't know all of what it said because it was in the spam folder so I didn't open it. I have a package deal on my home phone and high-speed internet, both through our local phone company. I went on the customer service part of the phone company website and asked about it. They answered saying that they don't ever request anything by email, it would be a phone call or a letter and that basically it was a 'pfishing' attempt by a bunch of scumbags who have targeted the phone company customers. But then they wanted me to forward them the information, which I can't do without opening it so I didn't, but at least I know for sure that it's not genuine! Folks, I think the lowlifes are gaining on us!
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We're on Mac so we can at least open emails without the links also opening. If you have a way of checking the text of the email without having to activate any embedded links, it should be safe.

    We can also forward without opening.

    If you can have a look at the text and you're not sure, copy a sample of the text (try to choose a fairly unusual sample, avoid phrases such as "and of the" because that phrase would occur too frequently in too many different places) and copy the phrase between double quote marks into Google. This will then search for THAT collection of words, in that order, with no other words in that segment. It's like searching for a segment of DNA - if it's there, Google will find every occurence. The more unique the sample you choose, the fewer stray hits you will get, every hit should be a direct hit.

    Example from an old hoax - "credit card scam" - a large chunk of text is "One of our employees was called on Wednesday from 'VISA',*
    > and I was called on Thursday from 'Master Card'.. The scam works like*
    > this: Caller: 'This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud*
    > Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. You r card has been flagged*
    > for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be*
    > on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an*
    > Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a Marketing company based in*
    > ?'"

    Now, I go in and have a careful read, looking for a distinctive segment. I avoid ones mentioning dollar amounts because they sometimes change. But locations often are worth including, as are company names. If there is a person's name at the end, that is often worth searching for because this gives credibility to the email and hence doesn't get changed much. So from the above paragraph, I will choose "I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA". Delete double spaces and any extraneous characters (such as the ">") then search. If you want to be really specific, search within a site such as Snopes or HoaxBuster.

    Whenever you get virus warnings, or other warnings (such as the infamous myth about waking up in a bathtub of ice in a Sydney hotel with your kidneys missing) DON'T automatically forward them, no matter how urgent the wording is. NEVER give way to the emotional blackmail that says, "If you are a decent human being you will warn everybody in your address book; if you don't, bad luck will be visited on you because you are a sorry excuse for a human being."

    We don't delete them until we are certain. Even then, we often keep copies so I can go back and search for the first occurrence we got.

    An example - yesterday we received two emails, both allegedly from Apple. One said, "Tell us how you're enjoying your new iPod - customer satisfaction survey"
    Another one was very similar, asking for feedback on our recent Apple product purchase. Both included a link. Both looked genuine. But one was a phishing expedition. husband checked them out by telephoning Apple. They asked for a copy of each email. We got a call back that confirmed the genuine one and also confirmed the hoax one, which they hadn't known about. The hoax one is a concern, because we did recently buy an iPod (for difficult child 3's birthday). How did they know? We're very careful about security, we didn't use a loyalty card and filling in guarantee forms should be confidential. It seems there may have been a leak somewhere, Apple really wants information so they can find out where the leak is and plug it.

    If you can't open emails without risking embedded links being opened, find out if changing the internet software you're using could give you the added protection.