Wednesday, November 28, 2007
One Phish, Two Phish, Bad Phish, Pee-Yew Phish
Isn't it bad enough that the price of oil has risen sky high? That translates to higher prices at the pump and higher prices in the grocery stores. The bread I like is over $3 a loaf now. Milk is approaching $5 a gallon (which makes gasoline look cheap).
Everywhere you turn, prices are up, up, up. And that stinks.
If that's not enough to get your panties in a wad, check out these emails I've received lately. They are but a sampling of the efforts to which folks go to try and steal your financial information or wreck your computer. The one above left is an attempt to get me to log into my PayPal account and give them access to my checking account.
At first glance this appears to be an e-card from a friend. But no sender is named and a legitimate e-card from a website like Hallmark or American Greetings will give the sender's name.
This, my friends, leads to an executable file, which will most likely infect your computer with a virus and/or fry your hard drive.
Sadly, there is a legitimate site called egreetings.com. But the link in the message doesn't lead there.
According to this one, I was entered into a UK Lotto and WOW! My number was drawn to win the one million dollar daily jackpot!
All I have to do is email and give them my bank info. Yeah, right. Instead of a one million dollar deposit, I'd most likely see the contents of my account withdrawn and disappearing into the night.
This one comes close to actually looking real, and that's scary. I use this bank and use their online site to monitor my account. According to the email they're doing a random security check and if I don't respond to the email, they'll assume my account is fraudulent and suspend it. "The purpose of this verification is to ensure that your account has not been fraudulently used and to combat the fraud from our community."
Boy do I feel better. Not!
This is my all-time favorite. I retrieved a message remotely from my answering machine and was told my online payments had expired and I needed to go to a certain website and update my information. I was a bit suspicious, and when I got home and checked the caller ID, my suspicions were confirmed.
The Better Business Bureau got tons of calls about this one and it was on the evening news and in the local newspaper twice. They have no idea why Caller ID showed up this way, but I'm glad it associated the number with a nefarious bunch hoping to separate some fools from their money. And would you believe that even with "THIS IS A SCAM" showing up on caller ID, some folks actually went to the website and gave them their personal info???
Beware! Phishing is becoming more prevalent and the phishers are getting more and more sophisticated. Banks and other financial institutions will NEVER ask for private information over the phone or via email. When in doubt, check it out.
Tell us about the scams you've run across and help educate our readers to the dangers lurking out there. Enlighten us and I'll pick one lucky commenter to win a nifty book light.