Hoaxes – How do I stop them?
First, we must identify what they are and how to find them:
An example follows:
Subject: Gift Certificate from Applebees
“My name is Bill Palmer, founder of Applebees. In an attempt to get our name out to more people in
the rural communities where we are not currently located, we are offering a $50 gift certificate to
anyone who forwards this email to 9 of their friends. Just send this email to them and you will
receive an email back with a confirmation number to claim your gift certificate.
Founder of Applebees Visit us at: www.applebees.com
Hey guys, DON’T DELETE THIS EMAIL
It really works, I tried it and got my Gift certificate confirmation number in 3 minutes.”
You may have seen the above or another email similar to it. Don’t believe it. In the message above, how could Applebees track who you send you email to or that you even sent out an email? They Can’t!
Unless they have a court order to access the IP addresses of every ISP that these email messages prorogate through, Applebees, Microsoft, IBM (nor any other company) cannot trace the email chain. In addition, how would they know where you live? The only organization that does actually trace email chains is the federal government when the security of the country is at risk and even that takes hundreds of man hours.
Other types of email hoaxes are about young children getting lost or people who have incurable diseases.
If you are suspicious that a message you receive is a hoax, there are a number
of sources you can access:
What is SPAM?
Email spam are messages you don’t want. They mainly come from marketing companies or other places that got hold of your email.
How Do They Get Our Email Addresses?
The most common way is when you purchase something on the Internet. All companies ask for your email address. One way to stop spam from entering your email is to use a separate email just for purchasing.
How Can We Stop SPAM?
Most companies have spam filters that can determine a spam message and filter
it out before it reaches your email. You can install spam filters on your PC.
How do we stop scams:
Besides being vigilant against email viruses, we must be aware of the scams that propagates through the Internet. The most popular is the Phishing scam. (Because they ‘phish’ for information).
If You Think It’s Phishy, don’t Open It!
Phishing is a high-tech Internet scam that uses deceptive email in an attempt to convince the reader to disclose personal information; such as, credit card numbers, bank accounts, social security numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information.
Some examples of phishing would be an email that you would receive which says that it is from Citibank, Discover Card, Paypal or possibly even a government agency. The message would state that you need to “update” or “validate” your account information. It then supplies a link that will direct you to a website that looks just like the legitimate organization’s site, but it isn’t. The purpose of this bogus site (which is called spoofing) is to trick you into divulging your personal information, so the thieves can steal your identity and commit crimes in your name.
See the following example from an email below:
Good afternoon, unfortunately some processings have been cracked by hackers, so a new secure code to protect your data has been introduced by Visa. You should check your card balance and in case of suspicious transactions immediately contact your card issuing bank. If you don’t see any suspicious transactions, it doesn’t mean that the card is not lost and cannot be used. Probably, your card issuers have not updated information yet. That is why we strongly recommend you to visit our website and update your profile, otherwise we cannot guarantee stolen money repayment. Thank you for your attention. Click here and update your profile.
In order to avoid becoming a victim of this type of fraud, follow this simple rule:
Legitimate companies never ask you for your personal information through the email, so never respond to these email messages. Delete them immediately!
For more information on phishing and how to reduce your security risks, you can go to:
- paypal.com, click Free Alerts to Help Protect You From ID Theft (bottom right), Click Identity Theft Guide (bottom center), Click Phishing Guide (bottom of page).
NEVER OPEN ANY EMAIL ATTACHMENT THAT APPEARS SUSPICIOUS