Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Almost Caught!

I like to think of myself as being somewhat internet savvy. I know how to check things in Snopes, particularly forwarded emails that warn of outrageous health and security threats. I am an internet banker and have pretty much eliminated my use of cheques. I change my passwords regularly and create a new email address when I start receiving too much spam. Unfortunately, one can never let their guard down. KGMom wrote recently about a scam in a cleverly worded email supposedly from someone she knew. And last week I was duped by a PayPal phishing scheme.

I use PayPal occasionally for internet purchases and gift giving. I received the above legitimate looking email informing me that a third party breach of my account may have occurred in April. The sender appeared at first glance to be PayPal, but I did not notice that the email address was not mine. I clicked on the link to verify my account and was stopped by the internet security I have in my web browser and my protection software. I quickly looked up "Paypal Security Centre Advisory" on Google and saw that this phishing scam has been around since at least 2005.

I forwarded the email to PayPal and took their little Phishing Quiz. Do take a moment and answer the five questions they ask to see if you can spot a phishing scam.

To end on a sweet note...my daughter decorated cookies on the weekend. They look too good to eat!


  1. Lol, that one actually does look more legit than normal!

    I taught my grandma to follow one rule: if it arrives in your email from someone other than me or dad, it's a lie/scam. This eliminates:

    FW: FW: FW: Our child is missing!
    FW: FW: FW: Our child has cancer!
    FW: FW: FW: 25 facts about Coke!
    Barack HUSSEIN Obama is a MOOOSLEM

    and all that other nonsense. :)

  2. I am glad that you checked into it. Why does there have to be dishonesty out there? I'm glad you ended with those beautiful cookies. Your daughter is an artist, the cookies are indeed to pretty to eat.

  3. What pretty cookies!! I wish I were talented like that.

    Good thing you did your research because these scam artists are getting more and more creative in their scamming techniques. You can never be too cautious.

  4. Yea, I got 5/5! I have received several supposedly from Paypal and always forward them to their phishing department. It's amazing how good the scams have become in terms of how authentic they look.

    Yummy, those cookies are scrumptious looking!

  5. It pays to be alert.Thanks for making us aware of this again.Those cookies are delighful.Yummy!

  6. I will go right over and take the phishing quiz. I am so disheartened that people who are clearly technically talented waste their time on such schemes.

    I must say--the cookies take the edge of the righteous anger I feel!

  7. Hi Ruth.....I find all these problems quite frightening....thanks for showing though.....

    I prefer to look at the cookies daughter made....yum......

  8. Wow! Glad you figured it out before any damage was done! Who ever thought we would have to guard ourselves from this type of crime! You practically have to have a college degree in Identity Theft Prevention to protect yourself for goodness sake! Now, please pass the cookies. They look yummy!

  9. Anonymous7:48 pm GMT-5

    I get lots of those FW:FW: emails too and I just delete them. You really have to be careful what you open and do on the computer these days. The are some "not so nice" people out there. I have limited time on the computer so I stick to what I know and what I enjoy (like your blog.)

    As for those cookies...snowmans are my favorite shape. I couldn't eat those, far to lovely. I actually thought that they were tree decorations. Excellent skills your daughter has!

  10. We all need reminding of how clever some of those scams are.

    As for the gorgeous cookies...their job is to be eaten, so I must help them with their work. Sugar cookies are among the best things about the holidays.

  11. Great post...thanks..i am going to take the quiz..

  12. I bank online but have never been comfortable with Pay Pal for some reason. I guess one should never respond to an email of that ilk.

  13. Anonymous5:14 pm GMT-5

    I never click on any hypertext, but go and find the site from outside of the e-mail....it's always a danger...

  14. Thanks to all who commented. I need to be more vigilant. Sometimes a scare is a good thing. RW's... I like your simple advice.

  15. Ruth,

    I almost got caught by the same email a couple of years ago. I thought it looked authentic, but decided to check my account first. Of course there was no limit on it and the email was a scam.


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