Internet Scams 101 -- Attacking You Through Your E-mail

Written by Janette Blackwell

Continued from page 1

•Anti-scam rule 1: Never click on an attachment from a good friend unless you are positiverepparttar friend sent it. It takes only a minute to click on “Reply” and askrepparttar 148913 friend, “Did you really send this?”

•Anti-scam rule 2: Never double-click on an e-mail attachment that contains an executable, such as an EXE, COM or VBS suffix. Once you click on it, an executable can do any sort of damage it wants. (Enough people now know this to makerepparttar 148914 scammer say, “This attachment is virus-free.” If you believe that, I’ve got a nice bridge I’d like to sell you.)

•Anti-scam rule 3: Your computer CANNOT be infected by an e-mail attachment unless you click onrepparttar 148915 attachment. If you simply deleterepparttar 148916 suspicious message without clicking on a link orrepparttar 148917 attachment, you’re okay.


It’s so awful it’s funny, but afterrepparttar 148918 scammers have used your stolen address to scam thousands, they have one more scam up their sleeves.This isrepparttar 148919 message they sent me:

“Your e-mail account was used to send a huge amount of spam during this week. Obviously, your computer was compromised and now contains a trojan proxy server. Please followrepparttar 148920 instruction inrepparttar 148921 attached text file in order to keep your computer safe.

Sincerely yours, The team.”

My first thought was, “How nice. These people are sympathetic to my problem and want to help me.” And then I thought, “Wait a minute! This message is supposedly fromrepparttar 148922 team. Food and Fiction,, is me, myself, and I, and I never sent that message.” Of course, if my e-mail address had been, say, AOL,repparttar 148923 message would have been signed, “the team.” I might have thoughtrepparttar 148924 dear folks at AOL were trying to help me, and I’d have clicked on that attachment. Which was of course fromrepparttar 148925 scammer, not AOL, and would have infected me.

•Anti-scam rule 4: Having your address stolen does NOT infect you with a virus or trojan horse. If you don’t open suspicious attachments, you are all right -- though you may want to warn your friends that they’ll be getting attachments pretending to be from you, which attachments will infect them if they open them.

Coming next: an article on hijackings and spyware.

Find the best recipe, food gift, and healthy dieting sites on Janette Blackwell’s Delightful Food Directory, -- or enjoy her country cooking at Food and Fiction,

Internet Scams 103 -- Stealing Your Credit Information

Written by Janette Blackwell

Continued from page 1

Lately I’ve been getting official looking e-mails that appear to be from banks. They have beautiful logos and extremely official looking forms. One supposedly from Washington Mutual Security begins, “WAMU is committed to maintaining a safe environment for its community of buyers and sellers. To protectrepparttar security of your account, WAMU employs some ofrepparttar 148912 most advanced security systems inrepparttar 148913 world and our anti-fraud teams regularly screenrepparttar 148914 WAMU system for unusual activity.”

Noterepparttar 148915 emphasis on safety and security. They even have an anti-fraud team! In order to “secure my account” I’m supposed to click on a link and supply information -- information which will lead them from my pretend account with them to my real account, which they will then kindly clean out for me.

•Anti-scam rule 2: Your bank does not need you to “confirm” your account number, your credit card numbers, or your social security number. It already has allrepparttar 148916 information it needs. As for some official sounding bank you’ve never heard of -- sheesh!

•Anti-scam rule 3: Give your credit information online only when you have gone to a legitimate website and are inrepparttar 148917 process of purchasing something from it. People who buy things from my website,, a very legitimate site, as part ofrepparttar 148918 purchasing process are taken to a safe place online, so they can give their credit card information directly torepparttar 148919 credit card company with whom I have a legal contract. Asrepparttar 148920 owner ofrepparttar 148921 site, I NEVER SEE THE CREDIT CARD NUMBERS! Allrepparttar 148922 credit card company gives me isrepparttar 148923 name and address ofrepparttar 148924 person to whom I should mailrepparttar 148925 merchandise, what they ordered, and how much they paid. And that isrepparttar 148926 way all legitimate online merchants deal with your credit card information. We say your information is safe, and it is.

I’ll be back with more fascinating attempts to separate you and me from our money.

Find the best recipe, food gift, and healthy dieting sites in Janette Blackwell’s Delightful Food Directory, -- or enjoy her country cooking at Food and Fiction,

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