Scam alert. I’ve been getting a barrage of fraudulent holiday emails from senders claiming to be Amazon, Paypal, Costco, Starbucks, Pandora. Protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft, or a computer virus like ransomware.
Always identify a sender as legit before clicking on any link.
Email security is important 24/7, and even more important with the the mind- boggling new security breach of Yahoo emails, with as many as one billion Yahoo user accounts affected. That’s on top of the news last September that 500 million Yahoo accounts had been hacked.
If you have a Yahoo account, here’s what to do to protect yourself, from the specialists at MarketWatch
Telltale signs an email is a fraud:
Major companies, including e-tailers, have their own domain name. Amazon.com, Paypal.com, Costco.com, Starbucks.com, Pandora.net. They would not be sending me discount buying offers, or alerting me that my account has been limited because of “unusual activity”, from domains like ganfres, marketdemand.date, service, batterbitters.trade, or survive.stream.
Those are just some of the senders I’ve received recently. I just shake my head and purge them, after writing down the sender.
The emails look legit, with familiar logos, and even images lifted from a legitimate ad or consumer mailing, but they are not.
Telltale signs include mis-spelled words, hyphens between words that should not have hyphens between words, and the wrong words capitalized or lower case.
That’s a giveaway it was written by a non-native English speaker or writer, most likely in one of the countries known for hacking or for fake news sites.
Seriously, email@example.com, do you think I’m stupid enough to respond to an email “Paypal account Limited by unusual Activity”?
Seriously, firstname.lastname@example.org, the words Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and United States in your scam address are always capitalized.
I’m a journalist and therefore a grammar nut, who notices things like that. If you don’t, be sure to check the sender’s URL,
Seriously, patterncool.date, do you think I would buy Xmas gift ideas” from you.
Seriously, email@example.com, do you think I would buy ID protection services from your website
Seriously, firstname.lastname@example.org, since I don’t have a Western Union account, why would you be emailing me a recent suspicious log-in on the account I don’t have.
Seriously, email@example.com, why would I respond to you about a service upgrade to GoDaddy, when GoDaddy has its real, true honest and secure domain, which begins with the all important HTTPS. The “s” is sure secure.
Look for HTTPS, which tells you it’s a secure site for financial transactions. These scam senders are not secure HTTPS sites.
And even if you are sick of finding these obviously fraudulent emails in your daily inbox, as I am, never NEVER click on the “buy here” link, or the “unsubscribe here” link, unless you want to introduce a virus, malware that leads to identify theft or some other expensive and time-consuming catastrophe.
While I can add some email senders to my blacklist to block and purge without me ever seeing the email, to my email provider tells me there’s no way to blacklist and block senders with extensions such as .trade, .date., .deal.
I hope attorneys for Amazon, Paypal, Costco, Starbucks and Pandora are reading this.
Please contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org, so I can share the next batch of scam emails that are using your good name in vain and help you stop them.
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