I’m very appreciative that Rod takes the time to do this, since it keeps me in the loop at the company level on email scams and malware threats. And, it gives me a chance to LMAO – some of these emails are outrageously funny.
Every get one of those emails? Sure you have. In fact, you probably get a lot of emails similar to the one below, recently forwarded by Rod – this one is particularly ridiculous. But, that’s the point in using it as an illustrative example.
Anyone with an email address is bound to be bombarded with this type of scam email (including the misspellings, lack of punctuation, incorrect grammatical usage, etc.).
How are you doing sir/madam? My name is Mr. Twum a 25 year old man, please dont be surprise i got your email from yahoo. i have 10kilogram of AU RAW GOLD, i got this Gold as a beneficiary from my parent as their only son . i dont know much about Gold so i am here looking for someone who can lecture me on how i can sell the Gold and how much it worth at the market.
please note that i have all legal documentation from my late dad before he passed away and on one of the documents, It is said the specification of the gold is,
QUALITY : 22+Carat with a minimum
PURITY : 96% Or Better
Origin : Ghana.
And i am ready to send sample to you to test and see if it is Gold as i can read clearly.
if you so interested. have a nice day and enjoy your day
hope to hear from you soon
Opening this type of email is definitely not recommended (despite the humor), since, at a minimum, opening one lets the spammers/scammers know that your email address is “live”. Generally not a good idea, since this virtually guarantees you will receive a lot more spam.
We’ re all pretty curious, and spammers/scammers, being experts at social engineering – “the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information, for the purpose of fraud, or computer system access”, rely on this to manipulate victims into opening this type of email.
While there may be some dispute as to whether “curiosity killed the cat”, there is no dispute as to the likely outcome of following the instructions contained in emails of this type because of curiosity.
For those who are swept away by an overriding curiosity – go ahead and click and then follow the instructions. But before you do, make sure you have:
A current backup CD/DVD or other media containing your irreplaceable files – you’re going to need it.
Your original operating system install disk – you’ll need this too.
Your system and peripherals driver disks. Without these you’re going to spend hours on the Internet locating (if your lucky), drivers that were written specifically for your hardware and peripherals.
You can save yourself all this trouble, and heartache, just by one simple action, or more properly; by a single inaction. Don’t click!
Scam emails like this are designed, and crafted, to seek out financial information from you, or from your computer, that can be used to steal your money and your identity. As well, they can be designed to install various types of malware that can have drastic consequences for your system’s stability.
You may well be curious when it comes to emails like this, but don’t let your curiosity override your common sense. Security experts argue (none too successfully it seems), that a significant number of malware infections could be avoided if users stopped “just clicking haphazardly”, or opening the type of files that are clearly dangerous.
You may be lucky, and you may be able to recover control of your computer if your anti-malware applications are up to date, and the malware signature recognize the intruder as malware.
But I wouldn’t count on it. Often, anti-malware programs that rely on a definition database can be behind the curve in recognizing the newest threats.
It is beyond dispute that the Internet now fits the criteria of a world that is not just perceived to be, but is in fact, personally threatening to uninformed or casual Internet users. I could go on, but I think the message here is clear. Think carefully before you click.
Despite every warning under the sun, there are people who will open this type of email. And, in that group, there will be people who will respond. If you’re having trouble believing this – believe it. If this type of scam didn’t show results, we wouldn’t have to deal with them on a constant basis.
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