Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Free Advice

This has nothing to do with beads, in particular, and more to do with a pet peeve annoyance of mine.  I, like I'm sure many of you do, get all sorts of Phishing scams in my mail box. That, alone, is annoying but what's even more annoying to me is the number of people who fall for them. 

Let's set aside the Nigerian Bank Scam (and all its incarnations) for a moment and focus on the one that really seems to get people, using myself as an example (but only partially... I don't fall for them myself!).  I just received an email in my Spam Box that declared it was from PayPal and that I had added the email address of to my account (normally I wouldn't publish the email or name, but I figure if it's a phishing scam, it's fair game!)  and I needed to follow up on this through their link.  Here's an excerpt from their email to me:

If you still feel that an unauthorized person has changed your email, click on restore account PayPal and follow the next steps.
Please download the form attached to this email and open it in a web browser.
NOTE: For security reasons, we will record your ip-address, the date and time, Deliberate wrong inputs are criminally pursued and indicated.
Please understand that this is a security measure intended to help protect you and your account.
We apologize for any inconvenience.
If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choice but to temporary suspend your account.

If I download that attached form, one of two things will happen; 1) I'll end up with a computer virus or, worse, 2) I'll end up giving my information to thieves.  It's amazing what they can accomplish today. 

Sadly, many people will follow their instructions thinking it's a legitimate email from PayPal. It has the logo, they have their email address, how could it possibly be a scam!?  Here's clue # 1... they start the email with "Dear Valued Customer" or a variation of that theme.  PayPal (or, really, any on-line site you buy from and have registered with... Amazon, ZnetShows, your bank, etc.) is going to already have most, if not all, of your information.  Including your name.  ANYthing from a legitimate site is going to start with "Dear Pam Sears" rather than calling me "Customer." 

However, if you're worried that it might BE real, here's my best advice delivered in as lawyerly or teacherly a tone as I can manage: (ahem)  do NOT use their link!  Let me repeat that for the hard of hearing: DO NOT USE THEIR LINK!  You probably already have that site on your Favorites List so close your email, click on the site from your Favorites List and open your account.  You will very likely find there have been NO changes made.  If you're still uncertain, you can always change your password at this point or contact the site through their "Contact Us" page and get advice on what to do.

Oh, clue # 2?  Yeah... spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Always a dead give-away. Go reread and see if you can find the mistakes. (I tease Saner Sister about being a Grammar Nazi but it helps to know what should be proper when dealing with these schmucks!)
Be safe. And be wary, folks!

1 comment:

  1. Brother, those Paypal scams get on my last nerve!!! I got an email from "paypal" last week letting me know that I had made a payment of 149.00 to Keith Wheatley. I almost panicked! My adrenaline took a spike up high. Keith
    Wheatley is a musician if I am not mistaken and HE does not need my money. AND if that payment had been made, it would have come out of my bank account because I didnt have that much in my Paypal account. I immediately forwarded the email to and they let me know that they would investigate. They have a reputation to uphold and do not want these Phishers ruining their good name.