I received an extremely suspicious email recently in my inbox. This email message circumvented my junk mail filters. This alone caused me to get moody real quick.
However, this email was so obviously NOT a legitimate email message for many reasons. Most major banking institutions do NOT send out emails asking you to confirm your banking records and to sign on. This should always be a clue to you to steer clear away from this type of email message.
When in doubt, just fucking delete the email message. I included a screen capture image of this email for this blog post. Here is the exact email message that I received in my inbox:
Your Wells Fargo Response Required
Wells Fargo Online
06/02/2018 5:01 PM
From Wells Fargo Online
Subject Your Wells Fargo Response Required
Dear Wells Fargo Customer,
We recently have determined that different computers have logged onto your online Banking account, and multiple password failures were present before the logons. We now need to re-confirm your account information to us. If this is not completed by 72 hours, we will be forced to suspend your account indefinitely, as it may have been used for fraudulent purposes. We thank you for your cooperation in this manner.
To confirm your online Banking records click on the following link: Sign on
Thank you for your patience,
Wells Fargo Customer Service.
What gave this email away as a phishing expedition, at least to me was the From portion of this email. Obviously, firstname.lastname@example.org is NOT a Wells Fargo corporate email address that I am aware of. Also, when you hover over the “Sign on” you get this hyper text transfer protocol link:
This obviously could NOT be a legitimate Wells Fargo corporate website link could it? Obviously, this is a fraudulent email message. As a computer technician here some tips when dealing with potentially fraudulent email messages.
I actually started laughing out loud when I saw the From field. This is a very sloppy phishing email message. Also, as a mostly raw food vegan I take offense to phishing, er I mean fishing?
Anyways, phishing emails are phonetically the same pronunciation as fishing. This term means that perpetrators on the Internet are phishing for sensitive information from you. Email address, username, password, transmission control protocol internet protocol address, etc.
Some of these emails also include links to web pages with adware, malware, spyware, and viruses. Even ransomware can infect your computer with a fake phony email message like this one. When in doubt, do NOT click on any web links included in a message.
You might want to take these types of email messages more seriously. The dangerous part is when you voluntarily give out sensitive information. For example your username and password to your banking website.
That is exactly what this con artist wanted me to freely volunteer. Fool me once, fuck you, fool me twice, fuck me. You can always mark these types of messages as Junk and or Spam.
You may end up not receiving legitimate email messages in your inbox. Obviously, it is up to you how you proceed with these types of email messages. I am a busy individual so normally, I just mark them as spam.
Also, I do NOT normally sign up to email newsletters, email lists, etc. Me personally, I do NOT consider emails from banking institutions as important, with the exception of a few types. My banking institution actually on more than one occasion alerted me to unusual activity with my online banking login.
I had to even change my password the first time I visited that website after receiving this alert. This is another tip, when in doubt do NOT allow yourself to become curious enough to click on links with these types of call to actions:
* Log in
* Sign in
* Verify password
* Verify account information
Instead, if you think it maybe a legitimate email message, browse directly to that website instead. I will never spam you or ask you to verify your account information at AnetComputers.com out of nowhere. However, you could just open a web browser and directly type in AnetComputers.com into the address bar.
This way you can rule out any potentially nefarious hyper text transfer protocol links in an email message. Here is another tip, do NOT click on any attachments in an email message if you are in doubt to the validity of the email message and sender. This email message did NOT include any attachments.
However, quite a few email messages that are of the phishing type, will include attachments. The attachment could be adware, malware, spyware, virus, or another way to obtain sensitive information from you. That attachment could actually be a keystroke logger, that will log all your keystrokes on your keyboard and send that information back to the perpetrator.
I am NOT fear mongering Per se. I am giving you real world examples of what can happen if and when you open a unscrupulous email message. Do NOT become another victim of a phishing expedition.
Finally, what you can do is to begin to study these email messages. You may not know it but most email systems including web based email gives you the ability to view the source of an email. You can possibly find out the perpetrators real email address.
Although there is a way to spoof this an remain anonymous. You can even potentially find out the transmission control protocol internet protocol address of the perpetrator. Also, by you looking for patterns, you can learn how to spot these phishing emails, sooner and before you make the mistake of clicking on attachments or any web links.
When in doubt do NOT open a suspicious email message. When in doubt do NOT open any attachments. I recently received three email messages that were obvious fakes, claiming they were from some department of the United States government.
I am NOT a fan of the United States government military. However, it was obvious these phishing emails were fraudulent as they asked me to enter in a supplied password in order to open the included attachment. Fool me once…
If out of curiosity you open one of these phishing emails, you may want to perform a spyware scan immediately. Make sure your firewall is turned on.