Don’t Get Caught in the Recent Rise of Scam Email Messages

  • Comments: 6
  • Written on: July 9th, 2007

Over the past week I have noticed an increase in the number of spam emails that were trying to trick me into disclosing my personal information or infect my computer with a virus.

If these emails are making it through my filters, chances are they are making it through your also. Here are some of the latest emails and what they are trying to get you to do.

1) The Classic “Your Bank” Email

This one has been around for a while, but since the results of falling for it are so catastrophic it deserves mention here. This scam involves an email that arrives in your inbox that appears to be from your bank. Typically the message is asking you to click on a link that can look quite legitimate to verify recent activity in your account.

What actually happens is that when you click on the link you are taken to a phishing page that looks identical in every way to your bank’s homepage.

The email message asks you to log in, so the temptation is to enter your user name and password to log into the banking website. Once you enter the information and click submit your banking password is whisked away where the scammer can use it to access your bank account for any number of reasons.

If you fall for this one, contact your bank and explain what happened. Immediately change your online banking password as well.

2) The “You Have Received a E-Card” Email

These have been picking up with some frequency over the past few weeks. These emails appear to come from legitimate E-Card websites like www.hallmark.com, but actually are fraudulent emails designed to infect your computer with a Trojan virus.

Trojan viruses can lie dormant on your computer for weeks, before being activated by the virus writer to accomplish whatever task they desire. They are usually used to make your computer part of a bot-network.

Once thousands – or even tens of thousands – of computers are part of a bot-network these networks can be used to attack websites or send spam email. If you get an E-Card – especially one in poor English – don’t open it unless you are expecting it for a birthday, anniversary, or other special holiday.

3) The “Install this Patch” Email

As I was writing this post an email arrived in my inbox that told me that there was unusual spam email activity from my IP address and that I needed to install a patch (link provided) to remedy the problem.

Of course, no one reputable emails you a patch you are not expecting. Microsoft does not do it, most ISPs do not do it, so the best policy is to not install patches from strangers.

Have you received a scam email? Post it here and help protect others!

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