In this particular “scammers” edition of Sun Spots, I will share a few recent emails from clients asking about the validity of the contents. I also want to direct your attention to a feature-length article from Wired magazine’s March 2022 issue that contains a third-party discussion of what happens when someone is an unwitting victim of a phone call.

One client forwarded me an email about urgent warning about his Norton anti-virus license.

He uses AOL, which doesn’t let you see “behind” the email address unless you explicitly look for it; fortunately, Outlook does. But this is such a piss poor example of fraud it isn’t even funny.

The email return address is justforconsumers.com, which doesn’t resemble Norton at all! The links in the email route to http://aoolldearbox.bond, which is not a secure website. Worse yet, if you click any link, you are re-directed to a website hosted by aquaticbees.com (definitely not Norton). That page has a warning about an increase in “Malware and Viruses.” Click on any of the links on that page, and I’m certain your computer would be flooded by tons of the stuff they “warn” you about.

And, of course, he has SentinelOne with his SPF+ subscription, not Norton!

This email is fraudulent; it should be marked as “spam” and then deleted.

Another client returned from a recent vacation to find an email with the subject, “Your order has been confirmed.”

Attached was a PDF file that resembled an Amazon invoice indicating that a payment of $769.99 had been received for a “SAMSUNG 55-Inch Class QLED 4K UHD Dual LED Smart TV with Alexa built-in.”

It also included the following information:

If you want to cancel or modify this purchase and want to claim your money back. Please call us Immediately to our Billing Department : +1- 877-542-2099

Let’s forget, for a moment, the atrocious grammar and punctuation. Let’s ignore the email address that isn’t from Amazon.com. This email and invoice features one of the more insidious scamming aspects. It requires you to call them to ask for assistance. The moment you do that, you are an active (unwitting) participant, and — if you are not careful — will be providing con artists and thieves with your personal information. I cannot stress how important it is to DELETE garbage like this immediately!

This leads me to the Wired article: They Were ‘Calling to Help.’ Then They Stole Thousands. Take the time to read this, and if you have any questions afterward, please let me know.

Thanks, and safe computing!

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