In a recent twist, scam artists are using the phone to try to break into your computer. They call, claiming to be computer techs associated with well-known companies like Microsoft. They say that they’ve detected viruses or other malware on your computer to trick you into giving them remote access or paying for software you don’t need. These scammers take advantage of your reasonable concerns about viruses and other threats. They know that computer users have heard time and again that it’s important to install security software. But the purpose behind their elaborate scheme isn’t to protect your computer; it’s to steal your hard earned money. Unlike our guest in our previous show, todays guest was not so fortunate and literally had her computer hacked, identity stolen, and money stolen – not to mention the incredible waste of time and frustration! Plus we will review exactly how Hillary Clinton campaign manager Podesta’s email was phished on this episode of George Orwell 2084.
Phishing usually takes place through spam emails sent to millions of addresses. These emails look like they come from genuine companies, usually a bank or credit card company, and they ask for details of your account. This can be remedied by getting away from a so-called “Free” email service and getting yourself a secure email account that has stronger SPAM filters that will alert you to a suspected “phishing” email.
You can often tell a spam email because:
- The sender’s email or web address is different to the genuine organization’s addresses
- The email is sent from a completely different address or a free web mail address
- The email does not use your proper name, but uses a nonspecific greeting such as ‘dear customer’
- The email threatens that unless you act immediately your account may be closed
- You’re asked for personal information, such as your username, password or bank details
- The email contains spelling and grammatical errors
- You weren’t expecting to get an email from the company that appears to have sent it
- The entire text of the email is contained within an image rather than text format
- The image contains a link to a bogus website
How can I spot a phishing website? You may be able to tell a website isn’t genuine because:
- The website’s address is slightly different to the genuine company’s
- There are spelling and grammatical errors on the page
- The site isn’t secure. A genuinely secure web address where you’re being asked to send sensitive personal information should always start: https://. Websites that start http:// aren’t as secure
- The padlock for secure sites isn’t in the website browser, at the top or bottom of the page.
Now today we will talk directly to a victim of a recent attack, and what she had to do to prevail. We can all learn something from her experience. Unfortunately, she witnessed firsthand how a fake support website tricked her into providing a cybercriminal not only access to her computer but the fact that it caused both identity theft and loss of a great deal of finances. She is gracious to share her story hoping that others listening will be better prepared to NOT allow this to happen to them.