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•Anti-scam rule 1: Never click on an attachment from a good friend unless you are positive friend sent it. It takes only a minute to click on “Reply” and ask 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 make 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 on attachment. If you simply delete suspicious message without clicking on a link or attachment, you’re okay.
It’s so awful it’s funny, but after scammers have used your stolen address to scam thousands, they have one more scam up their sleeves.This is 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 follow instruction in attached text file in order to keep your computer safe.
Sincerely yours, The foodandfiction.com 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 from foodandfiction.com team. Food and Fiction, http://foodandfiction.com, is me, myself, and I, and I never sent that message.” Of course, if my e-mail address had been, say, AOL, message would have been signed, “the AOL.com team.” I might have thought dear folks at AOL were trying to help me, and I’d have clicked on that attachment. Which was of course from 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, http://delightfulfood.com/main.html -- or enjoy her country cooking at Food and Fiction, http://foodandfiction.com/Entrance.html