Archive for the 'Email' Category

Another scam email

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Scam Laptop Shows Scheming Hoax Deceit And Fraud Online

(courtesy dreamstime.com)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

This is a  scam email I received on 23 January 2016:

Subject: ACCOUNT 7.0 UPDATE
Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2016 07:20:53 +0100
From: Mail iiNet <mveerappan.co@gmail.com>

DEAR iiNet USER,

We have upgraded the security on all account due to complain on identity theft, You are advised to update your account. Click, Updated Page for instant update
Regards,

©2016 iiNet Web, Inc

The indicators of a hoax

Fraud Warning(courtesy dreamstime.com)

 

These hoax indicators are mixed with signs of the real thing. My Internet provider is iinet.com.au. The hoax is from ‘Mail iiNet’ that looks like iinet and is addressed to ‘DEAR iiNet USER’. It is signed, ‘©2016 iiNet Web, Inc’. This reads oh so normal.

BUT, there is a give-away indicator and it is one that should always be checked with unknown and unexpected messages that come from one’s Internet provider or from any other source. Who is the email from? The full address of the person or organisation is, ‘Mail iiNet <mveerappan.co@gmail.com>’ The address in this line gives it away: mveerappan.co@gmail.com. That is not iinet but a scam, hoax, fraud – however you want to put it.

That email address told me it was not from iinet, but was a scam, designed to get me to link to some scam website that was called ‘Updated Page’ for security. Who knows what I would have encountered if I had clicked on ‘Updated Page’, What would have happened to my PC?

There is another indicator of it being a possible hoax. That is found in the incorrect grammar used in the email: ‘We have upgraded the security on all account (sic) due to complain (sic) on identity theft’. These two spelling errors signify it was possibly sent from an overseas and foreign source without knowledge of some fundamental English grammar and spelling.

What to do with the spam email

Computer Monitor Screen ...(courtesy shutterstock)

 

I immediately forwarded it to iinet Provisioning Team at: support@iinet.net.au, advising that ‘this is a hoax email I received re iinet and thought I should advise you of this’.

Then I removed it from my email inbox by choosing the letter j to send it to the junk folder (I use Thunderbird as my email programme).

Be warned!

If an email looks fishy in its title or content, it probably is. Make sure you read the sender’s email address carefully. There you will pick up the hoax or scam email signs in a wrong address. If you have any doubts, forward a copy to your Internet provider and ask if this email is sourced from that provider.

The more emails that come into our inbox, the higher the risk of receiving hoax and potentially dangerous email will be. We can be caught, unless we remain vigilant all of the time.

May you enjoy your computing, while taking the necessary precautions.

 

Copyright © 2016 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 25 January 2016.

I fell for an email hoax

Friday, January 8th, 2016

an attack happened here by Andy_Gardner

The hoax email sounded so plausible

By Spencer D Gear PhD

I have been warning people on this homepage since 2013 about the damage done by hoax email and misinformation on the Internet.

However, on 7 January 2016 I was a sucker to such an email myself. When I woke up to its content and origin, I deleted it immediately. This is how it happened.

Hoax email content

I received an email with a heading that incorporated UPS [United Parcel Service]. Since I have lived in the USA, I knew of the extensive delivery of packages by UPS. The email stated that a UPS package was unable to be delivered to me and that I should pick it up at my local UPS agency. There was an attachment that gave the details.

What caused me to query such a statement in my mind was that I live in Australia and do not know of a local UPS agency. UPS is a USA based agency that has a worldwide distribution network.

What made it sound plausible was that it gave a delivery number and there was an attachment that I attempted to open. It was then that I realised this was a hoax with a nasty intent. My virus protector kicked in with a scan.

I immediately looked at the sender’s email address and it had no connection to UPS.

Confirmation of evil intent

I went searching to find if this kind of hoax had been experienced by others. Snopes.com confirmed the fraudulent nature of this email:

#We have become aware there is a fraudulent email being sent that says it is coming from UPS and leads the reader to believe that a UPS shipment could not be delivered. The reader is advised to open an attachment reportedly containing a waybill for the shipment to be picked up.
This email attachment contains a virus. We recommend that you do not open the attachment, but delete the email immediately.
UPS may send official notification messages on occasion, but they rarely include attachments. If you receive a notification message that includes an attachment and are in doubt about its authenticity, please contact customerservice@ups.com.
Please note that UPS takes its customer relationships very seriously, but cannot take responsibility for the unauthorized actions of third parties (snopes.com 1995-2016, ‘Package Delivery Virus’).

address book

The UPS offers this warning on its website, ‘New Fraudulent Email Circulating’. It stated:

View Examples of Fraudulent Emails

Please be advised that UPS does not request payments, personal information, financial information, account numbers, IDs, passwords, or copies of invoices in an unsolicited manner through email, mail, phone, or fax or specifically in exchange for the transportation of goods or services. UPS accepts no responsibility for any costs or charges incurred as a result of fraudulent activity.

In its preventive work to fight fraud, UPS recommended this approach:

Help Us Prevent Email Fraud

errors

If you suspect someone is fraudulently claiming to be UPS, let us know. Email us at fraud@ups.com. Reporting fake or bogus emails helps us in our fight against criminal activity.
UPS is a global company with one of the most recognized and admired brands in the world. Occasionally, fraudsters take advantage of UPS’s reputation by using our name or services to target your personal and sensitive business information. By creating tempting downloads and attractive websites, fraudsters can lure you to links that prompt you to enter sensitive information or download malware — malicious software such as viruses or spyware. While UPS is not liable for the actions of third parties, we are working to prevent and detect fraud where possible (Fight Fraud, 1994-2016. United Parcel Service of America Inc).

Unfortunately, I had deleted the email I received before I was able to report it to UPS. In fact, it was only after deletion that I investigated what UPS recommended that I should do.

Criteria for identifying email and Internet hoaxes

The Australian government has online help with its article, ‘Recognise scam or hoax emails and websites’ (Department of Communications and the Arts).

WikiHow has a valuable article on How to Spot an Email Hoax or Phishing Scam. This article deals with:

# Understanding Phishing

# Spotting the Hoax

# When Not to Reply (Most Times)

# Hoax-Proofing Yourself and Your Family Questions and Answers

Alert

On 7 January 2016, I learned these criteria from the mistakes I made:

1. If the wording of the heading of the email sounds strange, it probably is and warning bells should be ringing not to open it.

2. I should have recognised this as I’ve had nothing to do with UPS and knew of nobody who was sending me a parcel via UPS. My three overseas books from the UK had arrived in the last few days and I knew they were coming through Australia Post.

3. Then look at the email address of the sender. Is it an email with which you are unfamiliar or is it a variation of a familiar email, but with some contamination?

4. If so, do not open the email but go searching the hoax sites (see below), using the exact wording of your email content, to investigate if this is a phishing method that has been used previously and is being used on you.

5. If possible, advise the reputable source that may be associated with the hoax email so that it knows of this contamination of its product.

Beware of those email fraudsters

Many people are falling victim to circulating Internet and email hoaxes about various subjects. I got caught myself yesterday. We are all vulnerable to these con men and women on the Internet who want our money and to ruin our computers and reputations through spreading viruses.

Many of these hoaxes can be checked out at various sites on the Internet that investigate possible hoax emails and Internet smears. These are the ones I use regularly:

#Snopes.com;

#Urban Legends;

#Hoax-Slayer; and

#TruthorFiction.com.

 

Copyright © 2016 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 8 January 2016.

How to get people to read Internet posts and email

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Internet  Clip Art

clker.com

(courtesy )

Are there any techniques of the advertising trade that could help to attract people to read your posts to your homepage and Internet forums? Will these same tactics improve the rate of reading of email you send?

Do you suspect that many people don’t read your posts on the Internet? Do you have a hunch that your email often makes it to the delete bin rather quickly?

I contribute to a large forum, Christian Forums, and to the theological area. I’m of the view that many posts are not read because they are in directories that have official theological labels such as Soteriology; Paterology, Christology & Pneumatology; Ecclesiology; Hamartiology; etc. This is not the language of everyday folks. It is for theology buffs.

What can you do to prevent your posts from being consigned to the no-read file? Or email to the delete bucket?

How to get people to the first step: Read it

 

I came across this article in The Brisbane Times, ‘How to get people to read your emails‘. I found these principles just as important for Internet posts as for email and other writing. These are the same principles I used when writing advertising copy for radio and TV quite a few years ago.

Why don’t you take a read of this article? To give you a taste of the principles, the first two are:

  1. Use punchy subject lines;
  2. Write newsy no-nonsense copy.

There are 6 points that are easy to read and could be adapted quite easily to Internet forums and email.

What do you think is the sixth point?

Some examples of punchy subject lines

Let’s try a few examples of punchy subject lines in that Internet forum:

clip_image002 ‘Soteriology’ deals with the Christian teaching on salvation. Some punchy lines on this topic could be:

  • Bloody cure for bloody crimes;
  • Why would God waste his time?
  • Save the criminals.

clip_image002[1] ‘Hamartiology’ is the Christian teaching on sin. Could these be some punchy lines for an Internet forum?

  • It’s worse than you think.
  • All of us have the criminal in us.
  • Sinful stupidity.
  • Self-esteem nonsense.

clip_image002[2] Christian apologetics should provide plenty of opportunities for punchy subject lines. Let’s try a few:

  • Who made God?
  • Why doesn’t God stop all of the crap in the world?
  • Why does a loving God let paedophiles rape children?
  • Jesus’ resurrection is fanciful nonsense.

In these kinds of topics, there are plenty opportunities for ‘newsy no-nonsense copy’ to provide answers to these provocative topics. I consider that Christian Forums should drop its fancy theological names. Change

  • Soteriology     clip_image004 Salvation
  • Paterology      clip_image004[1] God the Father
  • Christology      clip_image004[2] Jesus Christ
  • Pneumatology clip_image004[3] The Holy Spirit
  • Ecclesiology    clip_image004[4] The Church
  • Hamartiology clip_image004[5] Sin

 

Conclusion

The principles stated in this article from The Brisbane Times are very simple and could be used by anyone. But there is a challenge: How does a person use these principles to gain clout with email and Internet posts? That will take practice and I recommend using a group experience to bounce ideas off people to help refine the methodology.

Anyone can improve his/her email and Internet forum titles, but it will take quite a bit of practice to make these principles work for you. I find them very practical and important in gaining clout in communication.

Email Clip Art

(courtesy  clker.com)

Copyright © 2014 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 12 November 2015.