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A Short Article About Phishing And Spam Emails Maybe this will help those who are unsure

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Hi everyone, the idea of this little topic is for me to chatter on about Phishing emails, those annoying emails that pretend to be from someone like Paypal and turn out to be a Turkish, Korean or Nigerian group of so called "hackers" determined to steal your cash, also I feel like talking about general spam such as "Enlarge your manhood one billion times with this wonder-drug" type emails.. This isnt pre-planned s i dont know where i will end up but here we go.


Just yesterday i checked my emails and ive recently used paypal to transfer a trivial amount of money to my bank account, from which money can't be taken except by transfer to my other account, and I had read a little while ago about paypal locking accounts they see as suspicious but as I hadnt done anything wrong i was a little surprised to see an email in my junk folder from paypal...supposedly. The very fact it anded in my Junk made my suspicious and on opening i noticed that many of the links didnt go to paypal but to anther site with the paypal URL as a sub-directory to look more convincing.. needless to say that email was forwarded to paypal and reported to the Microsoft fraud thingy...


But the question is, if you're not very computer savvy how do you tell what is really from paypal, your bank, you favourite online game etc... and what is a fake so here are some things to look out for:


If an email from a particular company, EG your bank usually lands in your inbox but for some reason one lands in your junk be very careful... Generally if one email from an address goes into your inbox, all emails from that address will and if one doesnt it could easily be a fake, if it asks for anything listed in the next point contact the organization by phone or certified email/feedback on their site to confirm the email


If ANY email asks for any of these items dont give them to the organisation: Username, Password, PIN, Card number, Memorable date/Secret Question Or anything else you need to "log in" or prove your identity. ALL reputable companies, EG banks etc... will NEVER ask for this, they might ask for confirmation of your email address as you register or change it but this is clearly stated and expected by you when you join/change your email. When you login with your bank etc.. they generally ask for 2 or 3 digits from your PIN and NOT ALL of the digits, if any site asks you for ALL digits of your PIN duble check the URL and make sure it is the real site


The links in the email dont look right, EG they say they will take you to paypal but seem to point to something like "site.com/https://www.paypal.com/de/webapps/mpp/home; etc... These links are designed to fool you, you can check the links by hovering the mouse over them and checking the status bar text, HOWEVER it is very easy to fool the status bar into showing whatever text you want, so if the email looks risky then dont follow the links instead type in the URL to the website


If you weren't expecting the email. For example you randomly get an email from Amazon that has a title of "Confirmation of order" but you know you havent bought anything. firstly DO NOT IGNORE this email, read it, but DONT click the links or download any attachments, instead type the URL of your Amazon site and lgin there to check your account history. This rule goes for any online shopping sites.

So you've checked an email and arent sure if its fake, what do you do? Well if you know you're not very good with computers ask a techy friend to check it for you. If they cant tell or you want to sort it yourself try the following. Firstly visit the site the email claims to be, eg if it says its from paypal go to the paypal website by typing the URL and look through their FAQ and/or security articles and look for info on fake or scam emails, here they will usually tell you what sort of information they will and wont ask for and sometimes the email addresses they use. If the email you received asked for info the company says they will NOT ask for then it's a scam email. If you're still not sure, email the company using their website or certified email address and tell them the date and time of the email you received, the address it came from and tell them what information it asked for, EG say "It asked for my PIN, username etc.." dont tell them your PIN or username! They will then confirm the identity of the email and from there you can resolve the issue or will tell you it is fake and tell you what to do next.


If you can be sure its a fake email then do the following things: Firstly go to the REAL website of the company and go to their security section of their FAQ and find out how to report scam emails, most big retailers and banks have an email address for you to send these fake emails. Once you have this email address forward the email you received to that email address, or if their instructions are different follow them, but remember never give out your PIN or PASSWORD. Nowadays some email providers have a facility to report scam emails so use this as well, in windows live mail there is a link above every junk message. By reporting it to your email provider you shouldn't receive any more of these emails and it will reduce the number of other users affected by them and by sending it to the REAL company it claims to be from they can advise other users and issue warnings and get legal action taken.


If it turns out the email is real add the email address to your trusted list but remember never to give out your login information or PIN. The company you are dealing with have no business with your login information. They dont need it EVER to do anything. They already have complete control over your account whenever they want, unless its a bank of course, and so NEVER need your credentials to delete your account or to upgrade it etc... Many fake emails will offer free upgrades when you send your login info as the technicians need it to do the upgrade, this isnt true. The techs can upgrade etc... without your information.


I hope that helps with so called "Phishing" emails. Remember this info! Now as for Spam....


Spam is a nifty way for low down companies to advertise things and get fools to buy them. Many offer herbal remedies especially "enlargement" Offers :D Let me state something clearly... the products you "buy" are likely to never be received and if you do get them they are extremely unlikely to do what they say they will. And by buying these things you will ensure you get even more of these annoying emails. One study, that was used in a BBC news article, showed that one user buying one product from these people provided funding for that company to send about 1OOO more spam emails, which means for every product you buy through these emails you are funding 1OOO emails for that company to be sent, so imagine the problem here, out of 1OOO emails say 5O buy something, so now they send 5OOOO and this time 25O products are sold so now they can send 25OOOO emails... it just goes on.


To tell if it's a bogus product follow these rules...If it lands in your junk folder from someone you dont know offering something thats supposedly really cheap its fake. Simple as! If you really want to check then google the product name and if you do manage to find it and you do want to buy one and its on reputable websites then of course buy it but do so from one of these reputable sites and NOT the email you received, as i said buying from these emails makes many more emails arrive at your email address because you have confirmed you are a good person to email if they want to sell stuff.


And that's about that! Feel free to post your advice and experiences with spam/scam emails. The more people that wise up the less these emails will bug you, the study i mentioned above showed that even doctors were buying these herbal remedies... Fools... :P

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