While we here at Frankenstein noticed a bit of a downturn on Robocalls and phishing scam emails when the quarantine started in the US we have noticed quite an uptick over the past few weeks. So we wanted to take a quick moment to remind everyone of the three most common types of email scam methods out there to remind everyone to keep their eyes open.
Email Address Mimic
Whenever we receive emails we’re always more concerned with the subject and what’s in the email; and a quick glance at who it is from. So what some scammers will do is create an email address that is VERY similar to somebody you work with or an acquaintance. For example if your boss’ email address is firstname.lastname@example.org a scammer might send you an email from email@example.com in the hopes that you will not notice the extra period in that address and reply back to them falling for their trap. If anybody is asking you to get them information, always give an extra careful glance at exactly where that email is coming from.
The version of this scam many of us are very familiar with. This method happens when somebody’s email address has been compromised (a scammer now has their password). Imagine if a stranger somewhere knew your GMail account password they could log in and email all your friends! And this is exactly what happens, usually sending out links to SPAM sites or even links to infections! If you ever get an email from an acquaintance that seems fishy, reach out! Oftentimes if you are smart and catch these, the other person often has no idea their account has been compromised and you might be the one having to let them know to go change their email account password.
With this nefarious method the goal is typically to get the person to click a link, or open up an attachment. In this method the ‘scammer’ is not trying to get any reply back from you so what they are doing is making it LOOK like it came from somebody you know/expect. I like to use the analogy that when you send a snail mail letter you can put anything you want in the return portion of the envelope, same idea. They typically need nothing ‘back’ from you per se as much as trying to get you somewhere, or something on to your computer. The most common method is probably the fake UPS email or USPS that you have a package and click here to see its status. Never click any link in an email you are not expecting, and if you aren’t sure, always pick up the phone and call the sender to find out if they really sent it!
While the first method is typically used in the more traditional ‘scam’ sense (ie. send us gift cards, send us money) the second two are typically used to compromise your computer with an infection of some kind. If you run into either of these types and are worried your computer has been compromised give us a call! Frankenstein Computers is the best repair shop in Austin for virus removal, oftentimes we can even help you figure out over the phone if your system has become infected! And always remember, when in doubt, don’t open it!
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