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Phishing Season is Open - Don't be Caught!

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Contributor:
David Silversmith
David Silversmith

My virtue of your loyal readership at Voxy.co.nz I am pleased to accounce that

HAVING CONSULTED WITH MY COLLEAGUES AND BASED ON THE INFORMATION GATHERED FROM THE NIGERIAN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO REQUEST FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE TO TRANSFER THE SUM OF $47,500,000.00 (FORTY SEVEN MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND NEW ZEALAND DOLLARS) INTO YOUR ACCOUNTS

Now, if you have been on the Internet for awhile, you should have recognized this as one of the oldest scams in the book, the Nigerian Advance Fee Scheme.  Unfortunately given the hard economic times around the world, both the number of these schemes and the number of people falling for these schemes are on the rise.

You might think you can spot these schemes, but consider the next two emails - are they real or are they fake emails phishing for your money?

Email 1 

Email 2

If you answered that email 1 is fake, then you are correct.  Look on the last row of this screen capture to see "http://us.paypal.com-stz.info/.... " You should expect to see nz.paypal.com or maybe www.paypal.com – but us.paypal.com-stz.info is  not an official domain.

Did you spot the issue in email 2?  Look hard before you answer!  Okay, other than this being another American example it looks like a real email – certainly nothing in it looks fake.  The web addresses are real.  Again look at the bottom to see www.wellsfargo.com/onlineupdates - nothing suspicious about that.

These examples both come from the SonicWALL Phishing and Spam IQ Quiz and I encourage everybody to take this quiz.  It’s only 10 questions – but it’s 10 questions that can help you protect your hard earned money! Even if you think you are an expert you might be surprised.  And, what about your spouse, your parents or your kids – have them take this quiz too. 

Another good site to bookmark and refer back to is Snopes.com which allows you to spot false emails.  For example, you could learn that neither Tom Hanks nor Tom Cruise died while filming on the coast of New Zealand.

You can learn things on the Internet, you can buy things over the Internet and you can have lots of fun on the Internet but it's best to learn how to practice safe Internet behaviors. The New Zealand Southland Times will forever be known as one the two papers that fell for the “President Bush has the lowest IQ of any President” scam.  That is the type of publicity nobody wants!

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