By Spencer D Gear PhD
This is a scam email I received on 23 January 2016:
Subject: ACCOUNT 7.0 UPDATE Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2016 07:20:53 +0100 From: Mail iiNet <email@example.com>
DEAR iiNet USER,
We have upgraded the security on all account due to complain on identity theft, You are advised to update your account. Click, Updated Page for instant update
©2016 iiNet Web, Inc
The indicators of a hoax
These hoax indicators are mixed with signs of the real thing. My Internet provider is iinet.com.au. The hoax is from ‘Mail iiNet’ that looks like iinet and is addressed to ‘DEAR iiNet USER’. It is signed, ‘©2016 iiNet Web, Inc’. This reads oh so normal.
BUT, there is a give-away indicator and it is one that should always be checked with unknown and unexpected messages that come from one’s Internet provider or from any other source. Who is the email from? The full address of the person or organisation is, ‘Mail iiNet <firstname.lastname@example.org>’ The address in this line gives it away: email@example.com. That is not iinet but a scam, hoax, fraud – however you want to put it.
That email address told me it was not from iinet, but was a scam, designed to get me to link to some scam website that was called ‘Updated Page’ for security. Who knows what I would have encountered if I had clicked on ‘Updated Page’, What would have happened to my PC?
There is another indicator of it being a possible hoax. That is found in the incorrect grammar used in the email: ‘We have upgraded the security on all account (sic) due to complain (sic) on identity theft’. These two spelling errors signify it was possibly sent from an overseas and foreign source without knowledge of some fundamental English grammar and spelling.
What to do with the spam email
I immediately forwarded it to iinet Provisioning Team at: firstname.lastname@example.org, advising that ‘this is a hoax email I received re iinet and thought I should advise you of this’.
Then I removed it from my email inbox by choosing the letter j to send it to the junk folder (I use Thunderbird as my email programme).
If an email looks fishy in its title or content, it probably is. Make sure you read the sender’s email address carefully. There you will pick up the hoax or scam email signs in a wrong address. If you have any doubts, forward a copy to your Internet provider and ask if this email is sourced from that provider.
The more emails that come into our inbox, the higher the risk of receiving hoax and potentially dangerous email will be. We can be caught, unless we remain vigilant all of the time.
May you enjoy your computing, while taking the necessary precautions.
Copyright © 2016 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 25 January 2016.