Over the years I have gotten some strange emails and can spot the Phishing emails pretty quickly now. Do you know hot to spot Phishing emails? Don’t really feel bad as I didn’t in the beginning either and believe me they are good at making them look like they are for real.
If you don’t know what Phishing is (pronounce fishing) is an email that is trying to get info from you (user names, passwords, credit card info) by pretending to be a legit company. I have gotten them impersonating my bank, Visa, Ebay, Paypal, Yahoo and I got one today from Yahoo so thought I would write a blog post quick to show you an example of one and what to do when you see one.
Dear Valid User,
We discovered series of illegal attempts on your mail account from different IP locations.This is for your own safety to avoid your account closed, you will have to verify your account now.
For quick access: VERIFY HERE (made this unclickable for this post)
After confirming, you will be able to continue using your Account.
Copyright 2012 Mail! Inc. (Co. Reg. No. 2344507D)All Rights
Reserved. Intellectual Property Rights Policy.
Now if you look at it close here are the clues for me – one it would not be valid user – it would be my user name or my real name. Never, Never, Never click any links in an email till you can verify the link and this is easy to do – you copy the email into a HTML editor and then look at the code and here is what I’m seeing for that Verify Here
<div id=”yui_3_2_0_21_13421388350642335″><span style=”color: #0000bf;”>For quick access: </span><a href=”https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEF5T1JoSUFSUk93YkJwOHlqMFVkSHc6MQ” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>VERIFY HERE</a>
<table id=”yiv653306442bodyDrftID” border=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ cellpadding=”0″>
You will see that the link is a spreadsheet on someone account gathering your info. Kinda scary huh?
Well here is what you do – To report a phishing email, please forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Now some key things to watch for is the spelling, links in the email, threat – you account will be closed, and most of the time it’s popular sites – even have seen them from Facebook
If you enter your Google account or personal information as the result of a spoof or phishing message, take action quickly. Send a copy of the message header and the entire text of the message to the Federal Trade Commission at email@example.com. If you entered credit card or bank account numbers, contact your financial institution. If you think you may be the victim of identity theft, contact your local police.
Hope that this helps make you aware of Phishing and to really watch closely. Some of the big companies have even been on the news making people aware of how clever these people are and how good they are copying the logos – so now when someone ask you Do You Know How to Spot Phishing Email – you can answer them with a yes or send them here to this post.
If you think that you might have gotten one or you get one – just go to Google and type in how to report phishing email from Ebay, from Gmail, from Yahoo, from Paypal, from where ever and you will find info on what to do and the steps that you should take to report. It is very important that you report them also as you are also helping someone else from getting ripped off.