Last week, scammers attempted to bilk Lowell area residents. Congratulations email began appearing in local email boxes that appeared to be from Washington Savings Bank. The email claimed that you would receive $90 if you clicked on a link in the email and took a survey.
It is a VERY bad idea to click on links included in email unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure that the link is safe. You can always right click on the link to see where the link really takes you but the best policy is to discard questionable email. Don't waste your time or take any risks.
I received my first congratulations email on Thursday afternoon but by Sunday, I had received three more emails and the offer had increased to $299. All I had to do was click on a link and take a survey.
Washington Savings Bank was very proactive in this attack. A notice was placed on their website that warned about the scam. The bank can't be expected to email all the residents of the Merrimack valley to warn them of the fraud attempt but they did
When you think about it, this situation is almost like identity theft for the bank. The unwary email recipient could be an easy victim but the bank is also a victim. People who received the email may incorrectly assume that the bank divulged customer lists. It is very easy to get lists of email addresses.
A scammer only needs a list of emails to launch their phony survey offer.
What can you do to protect yourself? Don't open any email if you don't recognize the sender or the subject doesn't seem right. Don't get any false sense of security, It is very easy to fake email. Computer geniuses who proudly tell me that they aren't in any danger because they don't open email from anyone that they don't know, need to go back to school.
If you only have a small list of people who send you email and you don't care about other email, you can usually set your email program to discard any email from unknown recipients. SPAM filters are not 100% effective. Most people check the filtered email. If you have to check the email, what good is a filter?
Don't forget what your parents told. “Don't talk to strangers.” “Nothing is free” and “If it's too good to be true....”
Microsoft has been attempting to retire XP but the date keeps moving out.
Software users have been refusing to allow Microsoft to bury Windows 2000 for years. There are still a lot of Windows 2000 systems still in use. XP systems will still be in use long after Microsoft declares it dead and buried.