Internet Scams 105 -- The Most Vicious Scam of All

Written by Janette Blackwell

Continued from page 1

Amazing. They didn’t want me to type my password into an e-mail, and they did want me to go torepparttar real PayPal site. So I went torepparttar 148914 real site. Took a good look at it, then returned torepparttar 148915 e-mail, which said on its lefthand side:

“Dear PayPal Member: Attention! Your PayPal account has been violated! Someone with ip address tried to access your personal account!

“Please clickrepparttar 148916 link below and enter your account information to confirm that you are not currently away. You have 3 days to confirm account information or your account will be locked. Click here to activate your account.

“Thank you for using PayPal! The PayPal Team Please do not reply to this e-mail. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered. For assistance, log in to” -- and they had an official looking link for me to click.

So I clicked on it. Which I shouldn’t have done, and maybe that’s where I gotrepparttar 148917 attempted computer hijacking and a tracking cookie. But I was curious. I was taken to a website that looked EXACTLY likerepparttar 148918 PayPal official website. Remember? They had me go torepparttar 148919 real one to see how it looked. I still hadrepparttar 148920 real site on another screen, so I went back to it. The two sites were EXACTLYrepparttar 148921 same, except for two things:

The real PayPal website recognizes my computer. It automatically welcomes me and puts uprepparttar 148922 little stars that represent my password. The scam website had blank spaces for my account number and password.

Well, of course they were blank! The whole point was that I should fill in my PayPal password and account number so they could wipe out my account.

Second difference:repparttar 148923 address inrepparttar 148924 window atrepparttar 148925 top ofrepparttar 148926 scam site was not that of PayPal. It was a string of code letters and numbers.

I still hadrepparttar 148927 real PayPal site on another screen. I flipped back to it. The address inrepparttar 148928 window atrepparttar 148929 top was The address onrepparttar 148930 scam site was not.

And those wererepparttar 148931 ONLY TWO DIFFERENCES. Talk about low-down, sneaky scams!

I hope I have turned you into a gimlet-eyed, suspicious person -- but only where Internet frauds are concerned.

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,

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,

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