Monday, May 28, 2007

Email SPAM

After a few recent incidents of email spam, say like RBC Financial Group Phishing Scams - found on City TV news. I thought I would highlight a few simple ways to defeat it. No matter how good your email providers spam filtering is some will eventually find you.

Good signs that an email is spam

  • Offers prescription drugs at low low prices
  • Promises to enhance body parts
  • Offers money or prize for signing up
  • Warns that an account is deleted or about to be deleted if you don't take action.
Step 1 Never reply
If you do that just lets spammers know that address they used is correct.

Step 2 Just delete
Obviously if a site or person you have never heard of sends you an offer for free stuff or cheap goods just ignore it and delete it. Or if your email account allows you to mark it as spam to help them identify spam then do that.

Step 3 Check the link
So it looks valid. Maybe you have an account with that site. But has taught you to be paranoid, or your Nanny D and your naturally paranoid.

How can you check the link? Well you just can't click it because often times the fake site is made to look like the real site. The trick is to place your mouse over the link in the email but DO NOT CLICK.

EDIT: I show a web browser/internet explorer email account here. But if your using Thunderbird/Eudora/Outlook then you should still see the same basic thing.

Here's a sample email. I have a Paypal account so maybe this is legit (Note fake Paypal emails are a dime a dozen).

But when I hold the mouse over the link and look at the BOTTOM LEFT corner of my web browser (both Internet Explorer and Firefox) I see what the real link is. In this case

So the email text says, which is correct, but the actual link is to some ridiculously long address off If I keep looking I see another http string in the url. That's just wrong. These should be RED FLAGS that this is spam. Then follow Step 2.

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