This is too funny and is first for me. Today I received this email supposedly from the FBI. I’m not an expert on the FBI but something tells me that they do not send emails notifying beneficiaries of large sums of money. Call me stereotypical but I seem to believe that they are black tie, badge flashing, sun glass wearing, gun packing dudes that drive blacked out Suburbans. Not the email sending, money giving out, ATM address requesting computer guy. Something just does not fit does it? Here is some of the email:
We the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) United States of America have discovered through our intelligent monitoring network that you have a transaction going on as either inheritance payment, Lottery or contract payment in a tone of Millions of United States Dollars which have been approved but have not been settled.
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract / inheritance file after close monitoring and found out why you have not received your payment, both on your part and on the part of your debtors.
My personal favorite in the email:
A COPY OF YOUR INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT
No problem, I will get right on that. Not! These types of scam emails are common place in the tech age but being able to identify scams fast can save a lot of time and avoid a lot of turmoil. So here are five things to look for when determining if an email is real or phony bologna.
1. Is the sender more than likely to send large amounts of money to people they never met via the internet? Probably not. Large sums of money are usually handled more professionally, with credentials and proof of association with the sum of money. If it looks fake, it probably is fake.
2. Are there links in the email? Emails sent with links in the body of the text are more than likely masking their true destination. In the image below, the sender is trying to get me to login into my Paypal account, using fear tactics, and cancel the transaction. The links are fishing for login information and 100% fake. If you see these emails and you’re not sure if it is legit or not simply hover the mouse cursor over the link and the true destination is revealed.
3. Who is the sender of the email? Take a look at the email address and evaluate it. Does it look legit or are their special characters, names misspelled and/or is it from something non-related to the email content. I have seen them as close as firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com so be in tune with variations and adaptations.
4. Look at the subject line. Is there obscene verbage (obscene language doesn’t mean your kid has been at porn site), special characters, fear tactic remarks (ex: Your account has been suspended) or does it say “RE: Thanks for your recent inquiry” and you have not made a recent inquiry on any website.
5. Check out the verbage in the email. Are there phrases like “Attn: Honorable Beneficiary” and “Faithfully Your’s” throughout the email? I mean, who talks like that? No one I have ever met and this includes traveling abroad. If an email is using phrases and words that are completely out of the norm then something is suspicious about the email.
By taking the time to check these 5 items in an email you can avoid falling victim to email scams. W are constantly being told not give out usernames and passwords on the internet and it is a simple practice that keeps you safe and secure online. Just a simple precaution to protect one’s identity and retain peace of mind while on the internet so surf safe and be skeptical.