The 12 Days of Email Scams
The holidays are here and with them they bring stress and plans for the New Year approaching. With all these overwhelming thoughts and plans come warnings. We hear them every year, “Don’t be tempted by holiday sweets around the office”, “Be careful not to overindulge on the spiked eggnog at holiday parties if you are driving”, and “While shopping for your gifts this season make sure not to walk in dark parking lots or garages alone”. All of this is sound advice, however, while you worry to heed all these warnings you are distracted. Being distracted means being vulnerable to email scams.
Email scams and other attacks aren’t done by amateurs, they are professional hackers and very smart. These hackers know you are distracted around the holidays and they are quick to take advantage of this. Don’t freak out! KML Computer Services has seen it all and by reading this article we are gifting you the power of knowledge. Arm yourself with knowledge this holiday season and don’t get scammed.
Have you ever heard of Phishing? Well, it has nothing to do with the jam band Phish, it is far more menacing. Phishing is essentially email scams. Here is what you need to know about phishing…
- Only 16% of email messages per. year are valid. That’s right, ONLY 16%!
- Phishing emails look like real emails.
- No one is exempt from getting phished.
- Phishing happens to everyone. You must be savvy, so it won’t happen to you. Here are some tips:
- Look at the sender. This means the email address it came from and NOT JUST THE NAME. Sometimes the name could be your mother’s name or even your boss’s name BUT always, always check the email address because that’s what gives the phisher away.
- Target, Walmart, UPS and lots of other trusted sites, brands and companies can be misrepresented in a phishing email. For example, anyone can get a logo and stick it on an email. CHECK the sender’s email address.
- When you aren’t sure, DON’T click on anything OR respond to the suspicious email. Simply, Google the sender or the possible scam. Often when it is a scam there then it will show up on Google. Contact the company and let them know and then block the sender and move to your spam folder, AGAIN, do not click on anything or reply to the phishing email in question.
- If you truly cannot figure out if you are being phished, call your trusted IT Professional. They can tell and advise you properly.
- Lastly and again, when you see a suspicious email…ALWAYS check the sender’s email address and never click on anything or reply.
OK, now that you know what phishing is and how to prevent it, here is a festive example of some of the latest email scams circulating out there to be aware of.
I present to you The 12 Holiday Email Scams
- Email Server- Undeliverable Messages. This is a notification of undeliverable message.
- PayPal – Unusual Login Activity. A PayPal notification of unusual log in activity on account.
- Adobe Flash player Outdated. Notification that Adobe Flash Player is outdated.
- PayPal- You’ve got cash! PayPal notification of a payment received.
- UPS- UPS Package Delivery. Email receiving a UPS package delivery notification.
- Google Shared Document. A Google Drive shared document notification.
- Apple iTunes Invoice. Recipient receives an iTunes email receipt for a recent purchase and gives the option to change or cancel their subscription.
- Amazon Security Alert. Alerts Amazon customer that there were several unauthorized attempts to access account from an unknown device.
- DocuSign Signature Request. Recipient is sent a request to electronically sign a document.
- Tax Refund. Recipient is due to receive a tax refund and directed to a site to claim their refund.
- Netflix Account Reset. Netflix password has been resent and asks the target to change their password.
- AT&T Wireless Bill. Your AT&T wireless bill is ready to review.
And a partridge in a pear tree.
Now on a serious note, please be safe checking your email this holiday season. If you have any questions or concerns, please call KML Computer Services. KML is a local and trusted IT Service Provider and we handle all kinds of security issues relating to technology all the time. We have professional technicians that specialize in cybersecurity and we are located right here in Bluffton. Happy Holidays!