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11/13/2004 Archived Entry: "Email scams rising"

According to The Register, Internet users can expect an increase in email spam, "phishing", and email fraud attempts as the Christmas holidays approach. Certainly we've noticed a recent surge in bogus emails purporting to be from banks, credit card companies, eBay, or PayPal.

We're being extra vigilant. I don't believe anything an email tells me about my account, and I certainly don't trust its URLs. If I get an email telling me there's a problem with my eBay account, I type www.ebay.com into my web browser myself, then log in and look for any messages from the management. All reputable companies recommend this practice.

I do have one worry: that spammers will learn English. One of the glaring tip-offs that an email is bogus is the poor grammar. I got this lovely example yesterday:


Yeah, right. I don't need to read any farther to know that this is not from any company I do business with.* I don't know what puzzles me more: that these scam artists who put so much effort into their schemes can't find someone who knows English, or that there are still people who fall for these illiterate emails.

Stay safe. During the Christmas onslaught, treat every email notification with suspicion. Especially those in alarming tones that want you to "see very urgently!"


* P.S. Save your emails; I'm well aware I ended a sentence with a preposition.

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