Scam of the day!
Every day someone somewhere tries to embezzle money from someone. If not some Nigerian trying to get your bank account number so they can give you free money, than someone somewhere through e-mail tries to get the unsuspecting, to click on a link that is not what they think it is.
Through the years I have received e-mails from all sorts of alleged government agencies telling me that I need to click here to resolve some complaint.
If you have a business like I do, and you have a website, you are more vulnerably because you are more visible.
As I have explained to people for years, the government would not contact you via e-mail. Still I get computers in here that have been infected by someone clicking before thinking.
Today I got a rather unique e-mail from PayPal or so it would seem.
Looking at the e-mail notification one thing pops out at me immediately in that, it is flagged urgent. PayPal does not flag things as urgent. The perpetrator of this hoax wants to get my attention. Secondly I have set up rules which automatically move certain e-mails from certain people. Upon receipt they are put into a specified folder arranged by who they are and where the e-mail is from. This was my second clue that something was amiss, as this was in my Inbox, not in the folder where it should be. So why didn’t the rule work, it was not from PayPal.
Looking at the e-mail itself, it looks fairly normal at first glance. Notice it says that I sent $149 dollars for a watch to someone on eBay and that the shipping address is somewhere in New York.
I do purchase things on eBay, as do a lot of people, and it would not be unlike me to buy a watch for a $149. Firstly, I did not buy a watch so now I am looking at this e-mail a little more closely and see that it is to be shipped to someone in New York!
Someone not paying too much attention to this would quickly see the link that offers you “dispute resolution” and then click upon it. That is the gotcha and most likely the intent of this ruse. They want you to click on the link. Hovering over the link you will quickly notice that it does not go to PayPal or eBay.
Looking at the link, I really have no idea where it would take me or what it would do to my computer, if anything. The trick here is not to be a victim of some nefarious person or people. It may very well be a link to some website that tries to sell you something and they are driving traffic to it by disreputable means. It could however be a link to some site which will infect your computer with some type of Trojan or malware or both.
One other trick that I will share with you is this. As well as having good anti-virus software running and updated at all times, have a user account set up that does not allow administrative privileges on your machine. Use that account for your normal daily computer use and only use the administrative account when adding or changing hardware and or software on your computer. The virus and or malware may very well be limited to whatever rights that the user that got it, has. If the user has no rights to modify the way a program behaves, the virus might be limited to those rights as well.
Remember that not all anti-virus software will protect you from all attempts to hijack your computer. Not all viruses are created equally. The more sophisticated the virus, the more intelligence or (computer smarts) on the part of the user is necessary.
-Best to you and those that you care about!