Denise Talbot was right to worry about an email she received recently telling her that her computer spam filter program needed to be renewed.
Looking at the email from AVG, she noticed that the word license was misspelled, and there was a second typo, making her suspicious and asking my opinion on whether it was an attempt to gain her personal information.
As it turned out, before I could get back to her, Talbot, who lives in Central Connecticut, did her own homework, called the company, and discovered that in fact her AVG (an anti-spam program) license was set to expire in 30 days.
One can’t be too careful especially during the gift-giving season, when crooks use all kinds of phishing schemes, some incredibly sophisticated, to gain access to your Social Security number, a common password you use, your birthday, or to plant a virus in your computer and even in your printer that will provide them with sensitive banking information.
In the last 30 days I have been barraged with not only stupid emails telling me I have won hundreds of millions of dollars, but with emails that I had to study carefully before deleting them unopened for fear of a viral attack. Unfortunately, I even got sucked into opening one that was about to plant a virus if my AVAST spam program had not immediately killed it.
I had recently sold a camera on eBay and rushed to mail it to the buyer during the last storm. Two weeks later I received an email from what appeared to be the post office telling me that my package was misaddressed and was returned to my local post office. I was directed to open the attachment to print out a copy of my receipt to pick up the package.
Stupidly, I opened the attachment – after I had forwarded the email to the camera buyer apologizing for having failed to properly note his address. Thankfully I was able to contact him before he opened the email.
After writing about that incident on CtWatchdog.com, I received comments from some saying that they also fell victim and their computers were fried as the result.
More recently I received an email from an old boss that included what appeared to be a joke. He had never before sent that kind of email so I warned him that he was probably a victim of a hack. He was.
Two others that I keep getting almost every day are very alarming.
One warns me that my email account is almost to the limit and asks me to take the following steps:
“To increase your E-mail Quota Limit to 2.7GB, Fill in your Details as below and send to the E-mail Quota Webmaster by CLICKING REPLY:
DATE OF BIRTH:
Thank you for your understanding and corperation in helping us give you the Best of E-mail Service.”
I can see people falling for it.
The other one targets those who are awaiting responses from job searches.
Thank you for submitting your information for potential employment opportunities.
We look forward to reviewing your application, but can not do so until you complete our internal application.
The pay range for available positions range from $35.77 per hour to $57.62 per hour.
Prior to begin able to be considered, you will first need you to formally apply.
Please go here to begin the process:
To protect yourself, you must have a strong spam filter. Do NOT click on any attachments unless you are 100 percent certain it is legit.
Do not respond to requests for id or password from eBay, Amazon or a bank, because these are all attempts to gain access to your account. A financial company would never ask you to send your id or password as part of an email.
And even when you receive emails from friends with attachments or suggestions to go to a website, reply to your friend or relative and ask if its for real.
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