Yes, I have broadened my range of writing to also accomodate public service announcements. A while back I received this email …
I’d like to think I’m pretty aware when it comes to email scams, things like the Nigerian prince, USA Federal agent who claims to have my 1.5 million USD in a suitcase and even the paypal scam was pretty easy to spot. This takes it to a whole new level though. The email that sent this to me is firstname.lastname@example.org. When I saw this I immediately thought that this may have been a legit email. I have received legitimate emails from google telling me of suspicious sign ins to my account and they have all checked out. Everything in the email looks about the same as the legitimate ones, in fact in an article I read some people STILL didn’t believe that this was a scam …
Sorry Barry Kelly, but I think you lose this time. Here’s the thing, I don’t even own a gmail account email@example.com, I have a gmail account but that’s not even close to the real thing. That email is logical, because chris230889 is the handle to my hotmail account, and most people use the same handle when it comes to these things, I’m just a bit weird so I like to change things up.
Naturally the error they made in my email address rang alarm bells so I decided to do a bit of digging around. A security researcher at malware.ru found that clicking on the links will take you to an online phishing site hosted http://www.privacy.google-settings.com and while it may look pretty legit it isn’t actually owned by google. Instead it’s owned by “Aksnes Thomas” (sic) from Sweden with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. The phishing site’s source contains the email address email@example.com which the researcher believes could be the scammer’s real email address.
And if ll that went right over your head, the important thing to do is DO NOT CLICK THE LINKS. If you feel paranoid and think that it was a legitimate Google email, just sign into your account as you normally would and change your password.
Now that I have successfully made you all educated, aware and highly paranoid, here’s a soothing photo of my beautiful girlfriend handfeeding baby goats to calm the nerves.
Olympus OM-D E-M5, 12-50mm, Sydney Royal Easter Show