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Spammers get tricky

March 29, 2012 - Art Smith


Thank you for your order, your Acme Widget account has been billed $4,387.23, please log into your account for details.

Click here to log in.

Like many people, I get a lot of emails like this. My e-mail address can be found on a lot of Web pages, I likely get more than the average Web users.

Emails like this are fake. They are meant to fool you with their main goal being to separate you from your money.  Lately the volume of this type of email seems to have increased.

The emails will appear to come from a legitimate company, such as Apple or PayPal. Spammers us these companies because millions of consumers have accounts with the companies. PayPal for instance has more than 100 million users; Apple, more than 200 million. The spammers are betting you have an account and they hope you will be tricked into clicking on the link.

If you do click on the link you will be redirected to a site that have will look like the real site, but if you examine the url, you will notice it is not the actual Web address of the company.

If you enter your user name and password for the site, the spammer will  have access to your account. Once there they can quickly order products and transfer money. By the time you realize you have been taken, the spammers have “taken” what they wanted and moved on.

A person should never, ever, click on a link requesting you to log into an account. Simply go to the website for the company and enter it directly if you feel there is a need to access your account. Watch the url of the website that you are using, if it is just a string of numbers or any name other than the actual name of the company, close the window and do not enter any personal information.

Online transactions are extremely safe as long as you know you are dealing with a legitimate company.


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