The perils of being “too quick to click”…
We have all gotten them – those familiar looking emails from banks, facebook, twitter, that all turn out to be less than genuine. The tactics that they use are things designed to make you act quickly : someone has compromised your account, someone made a withdraw, YOU have cancelled your facebook account. These outrageous claims are designed to make you want to correct the problem IMMEDIATELY. That is exactly what these ne’er-do-wells are seeking to do, get you to CLICK HERE before you think.
I am an advocate of knowledge. To quote a movie icon, “knowledge is good”. Unfortunately, the evil people of this world watched another movie quoting that “greed is good”. Knowledge will win in this arena.
When I showed an email to someone this morning, she made the comment “If these criminals ever get to the place where their English is good, then how will people know they are being scammed?”
It is a good question. There are still some good indicators that will tell you, and there are some FINE rules that you should employ. They may seem like common sense, but to be honest, good sense is not common – it only seems that way if you are sensible in the arena being analyzed. You would not want to rely on my common sense in a brain surgery scenario.
- NEVER respond to an email from your bank. Call them. Do NOT use the provided phone number in the email. It is on the back of your credit card, AND information (411) has the branch number.
- ALWAYS look at the FROM and TO addresses. It if is from firstname.lastname@example.org, then it should be avoided. The good ones will try email@example.com ß this is NOT an address at facebook. ALWAYS read the address from right to left. The last two items are the domain it came from. In this instance – EURO.NET – they can put anything that they want to add to the left of the domain. So just because it has the word facebook in it, that means nothing.
- Look at the TO address. Is it yours ?? If it isn’t, discard it.
- Check the grammar – many of these emails are poorly written. You may not have gotten an A in English, but these are pretty hard to miss. “You account have be disabled” is not something you would expect from your vendor. If they really write this way, move your money.
- IF there is a link in a suspicious email, don’t use it. It takes only a minute to look up the correct address of the institution in question.
- And finally, if you WERE really related to a Royal Family in Africa, you would have heard about it by now … don’t fall victim to bank transfers and the promise of instant wealth.
So there you have it, a small dose of “common sense”… don’t feel bad if you didn’t know it before, instead be happy that you do now !!