SPAM is the plague of our email systems. There are some that are annoying, some that are stupid, some that are weird, and some, well…are dangerous…
Even people that you think you can trust….can’t be trusted. There are spoofers (pretending to be a legitimate website or friend).
Here is the skinny…
- Don’t click on links in an email - go to the website (yes, the links are convenient but don’t do it);
- Don't click a link in an email to a website - actually go to the website.
- Don’t open emails that you suspect are dangerous (even if it is tempting);
- Report fraudulent emails to:
- SPAM@UCE.GOV – government monitoring program for dangerous SPAM scams;
- The bank, service provider, or merchandiser (they like to know);
- Know that the IRS NEVER contacts you by email;
- Know that sometimes the cookies tell them what you are
- looking at and spam is created off of that (e.g., the lawn mower you purchased on paypal);
- Just don’t open emails from “paypal” – I think this is one of the most spoofed emails (login);
- When you see offers from groupon, livingsocial, amazon local and the like – just go to the website…the deal are there and the danger is not
- They try to scare you that your account has been hacked (again, go to the institution’s website – they are counting on you to just click the link and enter
- Your Bank of America (Wells Fargo/BB&T/CHASE) account is overdrawn – they don’t know who you bank with – they just go with the odds.
As they are becoming more sophisticated, so must we.
Also, when the phone rings and it is your bank/credit card/credit union/broker office….just say….thanks, but I’ll call back (and find the number yourself and call back). That isn’t to say not to trust anyone, but go to the source directly, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.