More About Scams — from August 2020 Newsletter

I’ve run into what I believe is yet another new scam — a method to get you to click on a link in an email that then allows malware to be installed on your computer. Scam developers are getting more and more clever in the way they craft and compose their emails to entice you to click through. Often times the emails will use the logo, typeface, office address and so on of the companies you know. My rule — if I get an email notice about a company I am used to dealing with, I will contact the company on a phone number I have for them from correspondence or other company produced material to check on the content of the email. Guess what — in about 90% of the cases, the emails are frauds. 

My 20-year old daughter got an email congratulating her on a recent pay off of her credit card, and offered to give her certain gifts for being such a solid credit card carrier. The thing is, as she showed it to me, my daughter has never had a credit card. Now we routinely check with each other on the most recent malware attempts each of us receive. Sorry, emails from my rich Nigerian uncle don’t even qualify for a laugh anymore, although things must not be going well for him — the offers are down from $25 million to about $750,000.

Recently I got an email inviting me to check the “good news” about a higher credit rating. Just click on the link given to see the ratings. The email was not “over produced” and did not contain any spelling errors, which is common with solicitations produced in other countries. My suspicion meter kept me from clicking through. On second investigation of the email, I didn’t see any evidence that would have accompanied such a notice from one of the organizations I do business with that would routinely checks my credit score. Why would I want to click an “anonymous” link for the convenience of seeing scores I already knew? Whew — another scam avoided.

Other give aways are misspellings, incorrect grammar and syntax, or phrasings that suggest a poor translation into English.