February 10, 2010

Pheeding the Phishies

Buon giorno. I'm getting irritated. Not only do I get a marked increase in spam, but I'm getting people sending me viruses and phishing attempts. I learned long ago (and I think most of my readers know this by now) that your online company will not ask for your account number, social security number, bank account number, password or other personal information. (Also note that you should not give that kind of information over the telephone to someone who calls you and asks for it.) But at least I can share my experiences with the world and, hopefully, save someone from grief.

When you get hit with something, you can contact the company yourself if you think there may be a legitimate question on their part. More likely, it's a spoof (phishing) attempt. Report them. Go to the site of the company itself, find the address that most of those companies give you, and then turn in the scumbags.

Here is a cute thing that I got from "PayPal". Or so it claims:

They try to scare you into working fast. But...where's my name? This is "PayPal member", and that's my first warning. And no, looking at the "from" field in the e-mail is not an indicator, because those are easily faked; if I wanted to, I could send you e-mail from "Satan@Hell.com" and it would appear real until someone checked the headers of the e-mail.

After checking with PayPal's site and forwarding it to them, I wanted to have some fun. I have clicked on these things before (including a "request for information" from a company where I did not even have a credit card), and filled in junk. Don't do this at home, though. I have excellent security on my system, capice? My next protection kicked in:

Well, well, well! Firefox leaps into the fray, being my Bill O'Reilly ("looking out for you"). OK, playtime's over. My protection spoiled my pointless bit of fun, I was going to pheed the phishies some phalse information.

Anyway, I know I'm rambling. Just remember, kids, don't give out personal information to your "bank" or other "financial institution". It's probably not them at all, capice?

Check out what PayPal itself says about phishing and spoof mails, and their advice on protecting yourself. 


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