Sifting through my email is something I’m used to doing every morning. As a domainer and blogger, I receive an endless stream of spam and emails with malicious intent as I imagine just about everyone does as well. I’ve gone through all the motions to put the best filters and rules in place to eliminate these types of emails before they actually hit my inbox and overtake my morning.
I’ve gotten pretty good at identifying spammy, fake, and malicious emails. It’s typically not to hard overall. Things that are a dead give-a-way include:
- Broken English / poor grammar
- Any member of royalty from any country contacting you
- Amazon emailing / calling you to tell you your new, fully loaded matchbook pro has shipped and your card has been charged
- The IRS has a warrant out for your arrest
- Any government agency (or anyone) asking you to verify information
- Links that claim to be one company but upon hovering they clearly are not
These are just the easy ones to pick out, in my opinion. I recently received one more recently that made me pause before I dismissed it as malicious. See the email below which came from Jacksonphoto658@yahoo.com, which was a good match for the content.
The domain I blurred out is one I recently developed for a customer. It’s a fairly popular site and has images, so it was a good fit for this communication. I happen to know for a fact that non of the images violate any copyright on this site, but could it be a mistake? The name and email address format was normal enough to not raise a red flag. I Googled the email address and found nothing, which also lent to its credibility in that there were not a slew of posts calling this email out as a scam, at least not tied to the email address.
The link, however, is what did it for me. Why not include the images or links to the images right in the email? Why another document? I again Googled a couple of lines of text from the email and found warnings all over the place. This is a scam that dates back a couple of years at least. I’m sort of surprised I hadn’t seen this one before.
The email goes on citing laws and sections which all come across as convincing. The writer, swearing under consequence of perjury, was a good, final scare tactic.
I can’t imagine how many people actually click the link and I wonder what exactly happens once you do. Regardless, passing this along with the hope of saving someone else from this scam. I have had a family member scammed in the past and it’s not pretty. It can result in identity theft, significant loss of money, mental stress and much more. Be careful and suspicious of phone calls asking you to verify anything, emails with links or attachments. If it’s real, the individual or company will contact you via more official means.