Dwight Watt - Watt Thoughts #146 11/27/2007

#145 - Warnings on phishing, fraud, and incorrect e-mails (Watt Thoughts)

It is the season of shopping for various holidays now (Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, etc) and I am seeing more deceptive e-mails pass thru e-mail filters.

I am seeing a number of "PayPal" and "e-Bay" messages claiming either a fraud alert on your account or that a payment was approved from you. Watch the links they give saying to appeal it. These are trying to get information from you so they can clean your accounts. The links show as paypal or e-bay in the message but if you hover over them you will set popup saying it is to a location that had on end nothing to do with either or at the bottom of your browser you will see real link is crazy. If it really was from either it would be addressed to your specific name in message (not paypal member or your email name or your paypal/e-bay account name) and the link would be a clean xxxxx.paypal.com or xxxx.e-bay.com or xxxx@paypal.com or xxxx@e-bay.com Also neither would ask you for any personal info on the link like account numbers, passwords, phone number, etc as they already have those at the real place.

There are plenty of messages claiming items about candidates floating now that are some real and some not. I would suggest always check at a place like snopes.com that will confirm truth or give problems with it. There is one about Sears supports troops by making up pay when called up, that is true but I don't understand why K-Mart left off message as they are same company since a few years ago.

There are more and more of the Nigerian e-mails appearing although not always Nigeria story. These say someone died and they have a bunch of money to transfer from one country to US, Switzerland or Britain and need an account to pass through. And that you will get a chunk for allowing you to let them use your account. They will use your account but not to transfer through but to empty in their hands. Besides if it really was going to do what they say, it is illegal, called money laundering. So if you get one about a Sgt died in Iraq after getting bunch of Hussein's loot but they need to get to US or oil minister or other official in Nigeria or wherever died and no relatives, etc ignore them. (f you really want to get rid of your money let me know I can help you do it, rather giving to charities or helping a "poor college instructor" :)

If you get the ones trying to get the phishing (e-bay/paypal or Nigeria types) either just trash or mark as spam. If you get a story to forward to friends about something or someone and you do not know if true check first at snopes.com Some are surprisingly true but a bunch are not. So look before you forward. (and be nice if you forward and remove the names of everyone already forwarded to and use BCC to list names you forward to.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.



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