Let’s go phishing!
The term phishing has come to mean any attempt to get you to divulge your login information. They generally arrive as requests to get login information verified regarding email accounts, credit card accounts, bank accounts, etc.
They generally come under the guise of legitimate accounts and companies, companies that almost all state that they and their employees will never ask you for the very information these emails request.
So, why do people still fill them in and send them back? We don’t know, but we will examine a few here for the telltale signs that should cause you to say to yourself, “This is a Fraud.”
First up an attempt to get Hotmail login information.
View it here: ACCOUNT PROTECTION !!! (FINAL NOTICE)
The email address attached which we are to reply to was firstname.lastname@example.org despite being labeled as Windows Live Team. Doesn’t quite ring true.
The official Hotmail page:
Has this link towards the bottom:
|Never reply to emails asking for your Hotmail password|
With this as the official Hotmail advise.
We will never ask for your password in email, so never reply to emails asking for any personal information (even if they claim to be from Hotmail, Windows Live, or Microsoft).
That makes it sound like dakotarob isn’t playing by the rules, doesn’t it?
If they really wanted to verify your account, they’d send an email to the account and ask you to login.
So, since this email has asked for exactly what Hotmail says they never will ask for and has asked us to do exactly what Hotmail has said we never should do, it isn’t hard to label this as a Fraud.
Our second example pretends to be from Bank of America.
The gist of the attempt is as follows:
We have lost most or all of your information and need you to verify it before you can use your online account.
We would ask “If you lost our information, what are you verifying it against?”
Bankofamerica has this to say:
Sometimes criminals may send you email that looks like it has come from Bank of America. These phony emails ask you to go to a Website that also looks like Bank of America and provide your personal account information. These emails may even ask you to call a phone number and provide account information. But the Website is a fake. See an example of a fraudulent email.
“Messages about system and security updates claim that the bank needs to confirm important information due to upgrades and state that you must update your information online. Bank of America will not ask you to verify information in this way.”
So once again, we must conclude that this s a Fraud.
The third attempt is trying to get AOL account information.
If you look at the top of the message, it should be fairly obvious that this is a Fraud.
Subject: VERIFY YOUR AOL ACCOUNT NOW TO AVIOD IT CLOSED!!!
From: Window Live Team!!!
First the subject: “Aviod it closed”. We’re sorry, did you mean “to avoid it being closed”?
Second, and more blatant,is the sender. Why would the Windows Live Team care if our AOL account was closed?
Reading the body of the email, it is fairly clear that the speaker’s command of English isn’t quite what it should be.
At any rate. This is a Fraud.
Another AOL attempt is viewable here. It warns that “The link in this massage will be expired” if we don’t respond quickly.
Our response, yet another Fraud.
Another attempt at BankofAmerica is here.
We found this piece of advise amusing, “Safety Pre-Caution: If this message appears in your spam/bulk folder, move it to your inbox and you should be able to click on the verification link.”
There was a reason the spam filter put it there. It is Fraud.
We have added a Phishing page here and will update it as we receive more.
In every case, if there is any doubt in your mind, however small, about the validity of an email requesting information. Call the company using the information you already have. There are customer service numbers on the back of credit cards and ATM cards.
Go to the company’s website and get a phone number from their contact us page.
They will be more than happy to help you and in most cases, if you let them know about the email they will have someone in their security department investigate it and that will usually prevent others from receiving email from that source.
Don’t give your information to anyone who asks for it, unless you are certain that the person is who they say the are. The best way for you to know that for certain is for you to call them. Then you should be safe.
Join us again for “Messages from the land of the lost” here at HowToSpotAFraud.com.
That is all.