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December 13, 2016

’tis the Season . . . for Email Phishing Scams

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Look! An email from FedEx. They tried to deliver a package, but I missed it. Never mind that they normally put a sticker on the door, this is email! I suppose I should click a link and then type in my credit card number to ensure delivery . . .

Don’t!

Seriously, though you may be excited about finally getting that package, the odds are excellent that the message you received is fake. Consider this: No one who sends a package provides the recipient’s email address.

Think about it! When have you ever sent a package via UPS, FedEx, or even the Post Office and had to fill in an email address? Never!

When you get an email from one of the major carriers, it should be instantly suspect. Sadly, too few people think rationally, especially when they’re expecting a package anyway.

In addition to rationalizing whether the email is legitimate, double-check to ensure that the sender’s email address is from fedex.com or ups.com.

Don’t just look anywhere in the address: The last part of the address must match the expected domain. For example:

donotreply@fedex.hacker.com

The above is not a FedEx email address. The domain is hacker.com, not fedex.com.

I’ve also heard from employees that these services do not send out email. Again, who supplies an email address when sending a parcel?

Even when you’re certain that the package is legitimate, take the time to go to the web — don’t click the link in the message, but start up the web browser — and visit the website to confirm the tracking number or other details. That way you’re working with the real deal, not some hacker site.

It goes without saying, but when these phoney messages feature an attachment, do not open the attachment! The file is a virus, a hijacking tool, or some other form of malware. If the attachment is a web page document, it’s chock full of Javascript that will do nasty things to your computer when you view the file in a browser. When the attachment is a zip file, it’s most definitely a virus.

Above all, be smart. The Bad Guys win because you’re quick and careless. Don’t let them win!

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