The New Year’s barrage arrives just days before President Obama is sworn in.
Today was unlike most days when I open my email, yawn and shrug my shoulders. This evening, my KEEN eye caught three names of email senders that I didn’t recognize. That generally means “junk or spam email, but today was different due to the sheer volume and ridiculously (laughable) transparency of these scammers.
These emails were online scams, so phony looking that anyone with “half-a-brain” could spot them a mile away. Three in one day! I had to look in a mirror to make sure the word “sucka” wasn’t pinned to my back.
Not only did the senders promise OUTRAGEOUS sums of money for my help, the spelllinngg was so bad that I actually laughed out loud.
Phishing scams come in many varieties including lottery scams, bill collector scams, fraud investigation scams, employment application scams, overseas bank transfer scams, credit card or banking verification scams and many others.
According to the Yahoo Security Center:
“If you receive an email (or instant message) from someone you don’t know directing you to sign in to a web site, be careful! You may have received a phishing email with links to a phishing web site. A phishing web site (sometimes called a “spoofed” site) tries to steal your account password or other confidential information by tricking you into believing you’re on a legitimate web site. You can even land on a phishing site by mistyping a URL (web address).
Is that web site legitimate? Don’t be fooled by a site that looks real. It’s easy for phishers to create web sites that look like the genuine article, complete with the logos and other graphics of a trusted web site.”
Unfortunately, the current economic downturn is expected to cause a dramatic increase in the number and frequency of these fraudulent attempts to separate the uninformed from their personal data.
The good news is that these crimes are getting harder and harder to pull off, due to greater consumer awareness and more advanced spam filtering technologies.
Despite the almost comical transparency of the three scams that entered my email box today, the potential for harm and the growing frequency of these annoying ploys is really no laughing matter.