Swindon u3a

Email Frauds

Some explanations

A lot of e-mails are received querying whether particular e-mails are genuine, spam or phishing. This is an experiment to provide information to members on the current known spam and phishing e-mails. First some definitions (according to me!)

Phishing: Any unsolicited e-mail asking you to click on a link to supply details (or money), open an attachment, however, convincing, alarming or heart-rending is 99.99% certain to be trying to trick you in supplying information that can be used to either gain control of your computer, your identity or your money.

Fake e-mails can be made to look like they come from soneone you know - family, friends or an organisation (e.g. your bank). If you genuinely feel that you need to respond to someone, but have doubts about the e-mail, there will nearly always be an alternative method by which you can respond, e.g. phone.

Never use the email address or phone number given to you in unsolicited email or phone calls - always look it up independently. If asked to ring back from a phone call, either use another phone to call back or wait at least 10 minutes before using the same phone. Callers can remain on the line, even though you are apparently redialing.

Spam: Any other unsolicited e-mail: these are usually just advertising a product or event.
Remember that any website that you have visted and given your e-mail address to, is likely to start sending you e-mail unless you specifically say NO. This is usually by ticking (or unticking) a box somewhere - sometimes small or obscure.

The one common theme is that they are trying to panic you into precipitate action.

For any action involving money, investments, personal data you should always go direct to the appropriate website, never via a link in an e-mail. The only exception to this is if you have initiated the action, such as for a forgotten a password and the site then sends you an e-mail with a link to reset your password. In this case you will have initiated the action and should receive an e-mail within a minute or so. Even so you should still be wary and check any request that seems suspect, such as a request to pay money into a different bank account.

There is the constant spam such as

Examining Potential Spam

You may receive an email that you think is suspicious in your normal inbox. If you open it in your inbox all the links and attachments will be active and if you accidently click on one of these you may activate malware or a virus. Any reputable email client will deactivate links and attachments in the Junk/Spam email folder.

If you move any suspect email to your Junk folder first, you can then open it more safely and you will also be shown more details of the sender and any links in the email. With any suspicious email always check the address of the sender and the inernet addresses behind any links. In spam email these are often nothing to do with the supposed purpose of the email. In more serious spam, the addresses can be a clever missrepresentation of the offical address of the supposed sender, so look very carefully at an address that appears to be correct.

Current Spam

The spam emails are getting more sophisticated and difficult to tell from the real ones.