9/26/13



Phishing scams are nothing new, they have been around the Internet in different forms for quite some time and people who don't know any better continuously fall for them.

"Phish (fsh)
intr.v. phished, phish·ing, phish·es
To request confidential information over the Internet under false pretenses in order to fraudulently obtain credit card numbers, passwords, or other personal data
."

Often Phishing scams come in the form of an email from a trusted website like a bank or online account of some kind. Sometimes these scams come in the form of a letter promising you a large (and shocking) amount of money. They even come via social media mediums like Twitter and Facebook (direct messages and friend scams). Have you inherited money from a far away prince or perhaps are the last resort to a person in need of help to move a large amount of money? Right. Don't fall for it.

I have been getting these things via email (and now on social media) forever and I just simply delete them. I received one recently though that caught my attention, a phishing scam in the form of an email from PayPal.

Here's a screenshot I captured it with my iPhone. As you can see the email stated that PayPal was having issues with my account and it was going to be closed down. I was to log in and check my account for verification. Right.




I use PayPal quite often, how violating!

The first mistakes I noticed in this scam email were the PayPal logos, where are they? The whole email just looked wrong especially the way it was written with phrases like "Relog in your account", good one!

I wanted to report this so I started doing some digging. Right clicking the link gave me the URL which was something like paypal.COME.us.whatever else (it was super long). You really should not click any links within these things, it's best to just delete but I'm daring like that so I went ahead and checked out the link. It was clean of any .exe extentions etc. It was just one of those phishing sites where the victim has to sign in for them to gain access.

To the unknowing, the phishing site almost could have passed as the official PayPal page with the logo, sign in area and links to contact and help which look like they are also real. They aren't, don't let the logo and (TM)'s fool you.

I opened up a new tab and went to the real paypal website to compare. What was the fake website missing? Why the green security icon in the address bar and the VeriSign check mark logos on the actual website, among other things that's what!  It  just looked all wrong from the get go. 

I took a screen shot of the fake website and found an email address to forward my phishing scam email to. A couple of hours later I received a response with a thanks from Paypal for reporting the suspicious email I received. Not a problem, glad I could help!

I know you guys know better but for those who may just believe they are getting "free money" or their "account is in trouble", always do your research and be aware of things like phishing scams.

I've witnessed the damage a phishing scam can do when someones hotmail account was compromised and the hacker actually sent off nasty and violent emails to people in the email contact list. This person had to contact the email provider to figure it out and change the password. The person also had to email and apologize profusely to those the hacker contacted. The email provider luckily looked into the issue but the fact that someone could get in as simple as a fake website is scary. That person was lucky it was just email but imagine a Paypal account, credit card or bank? All your financial information at the hands of a creep stranger who tricked you to get it.

The best way to avoid getting caught up in a phishing scam is to just delete any suspicious emails and contact the real company who was impersonated.

The internet can be such a great place, it's too bad people like these anonymous cowards have to ruin it for everyone else.

Like anything, always have fun and always be safe! 

Do you have any scam stories? Share in a comment below!


*This is not a sponsored post. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.*

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5 comments:

  1. That's pretty scary to think that some do fall prey. I have been getting emails from people claiming they are rich and from a foreign country and need my banking info to transfer their money into it. Apparently, they will contact me once they are in Canada and get their money back. Of course, they will compensate me. You sure have to be careful.

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  2. It's crazy how they are looking more and more like real emails! It's scary! Thanks for taking the time to put this helpful post together, I'm going to share it!

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  3. I hate when people try to scam the elderly over the phone - I think that is just the worst.

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  4. When it comes to account errors and "login to do this..." emails, the best rule of thumb is to avoid clicking any links on the email and just go to the website to figure out if you truly have an issue or not. If you really do, the website will tell you. :)

    It scares me how many people get affected by these scams even today. You would think there is enough out there to stop these scams from ever working again, but there really isn't.

    Sorta along the same wave, someone put a false poster on Twitter last week stating that the new iOS7 update will make your phone waterproof. If it was just a simple joke that the guy thought would make people laugh, or if it was malicious intent, I have no clue, but numerous people BELIEVED it and broke their phone by running it under their water tap. There is even at least one Vine video with the guy showing his first check at now having a waterproofed phone. No piece of software could ever make a piece of hardware waterproof; it's impossible. :/

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  5. I too have had that pay pal email. I deleted it. Unless I sign in and they tell me something is up with my account, it cannot be trusted. Great way to share the importance of keeping safe on-line.

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