4/12/2019 0 Comments
I am regularly getting emails like the one shown below - and I know that clients who have received such emails find them quite disturbing!
The general theme for such emails is that your email account (or some other account), router and/or computer has been hacked and that you are being watched. You may be accused of performing unsavoury acts that have been captured using the device's camera. And the email may even show a password that is one that you have used in the past (and may still use).
Two clients asked me about this very scenario this week - one received an email from a friend and it showed that friend's name, but the email address 'behind' that name was some random email address (instead of the person's true email address).
The other was contacted by a friend who had received an email that had the client's name as sender, but where the email address was again a fake.
How did this happen? What should these clients do?
Once again, a MyGov scam email is doing the rounds. I received this email over the Easter break, shortly after receiving a real email from MyGov.
It is almost 12 months to the days since I last wrote about a myGov scam in this blog. I'm not sure it that is just a co-incidence, or if these emails are timed for this time of year.
Here is what the real email I received from myGov looked like - very simple and did not ask me to click any link.
Just a few days later, I received the email below. The page associated with the link is shown in the second image below. It looks very authentic, except for the URL - which is certainly not the myGov website! (Note. I would not recommend readers click on the link to see where it goes! Just delete the email.)
I, like many iTandCoffee clients who have contacted me, received an email from Google+ yesterday - as shown in the image above.
The questions I have been asked are "Is it legitimate?", "What is Google+", "Do I have this Google+' and "What should I do?".
Here are some answers.
A recent experience of an iTandCoffee client highlights an important security warning for all of us.
Don't rely on email / text for communicating bank account details, especially for large transfers
If you ever ask someone to transfer money to your bank account, or you are asked to transfer money to someone else - especially where the amount involved is large - be very careful about trusting the bank account details that you provide (or are provided) via email.
A client of iTandCoffee forwarded me this email this morning, querying what she should do about a service she is supposedly being charged for - one which she wasn't aware she had. She wanted to know what to do about it. Here is the email she forwarded to me.
This week iTandCoffee received a call from a client who needed assistance with scanning her Mac for any viruses or adware/malware after she clicked the link in the email she received below.
It did look quite real and, when she found that she could not quite read the content of the image shown, she chose the View photos taken by the bylaw officer link to find out more about her parking ticket.
For more details about this scam email, read this recent Herald Sun article: Don’t pay this fake parking fine
This one nearly made me click! Have a close look at these emails (click to enlarge) and see if you can spot the differences - the things that indicate that one is a fake.
Having only recently received a real email from ASIC about the renewal of the iTandCoffee business name, I really had to look twice (and three times) at the 'same' email that I received this week.
Given that I have registered two business names, my initial reaction was to believe that the email was real. Can you tell which one is real?
Working out which is legitimate
But, as I always do with any email before clicking on any links or opening/downloading any files, I had a look at who the email was from (by clicking on the email address) - and it was definitely not ASIC.
The address attempted to look like an ASIC address - email@example.com - so could easily catch out many people.
Another giveaway was that there was no mention of my name, or business name in the email - it seemed very generic.
I also used the 'Quick Look' feature in my Mac Mail to preview the web page associated with the 'Pay now' link. (Hover to the right of the link and click the 'down-arrow'. You can also just hover the mouse over the link to see what website it links to. On the iPad or iPhone, hold your finger on the link to see a screen that shows the link's website address at the top.)
And boy, did the preview look authentic. But the giveaway was that the website shown at the top (see the red arrow above) was NOT ASIC.
What would have happened if I 'clicked'?
In fact, the 'Pay now' link did actually 'redirect' to the real ASIC website (after first taking me to the eoaclk.com website). Obviously the scammers want you be believe they are ASIC, so that you will click the 'renewal notice' link a bit further down.
Clicking the 'renewal notice' link would have downloaded malware, a virus, or even ransomware - so I dared not click it on my Mac to find out which! (I could see on my iPhone that this link would have downloaded a ZIP file to the computer - I'm sure containing all sorts of 'nasties'.)
Here is the article on the ASIC website, describing this scam.
Be alert to scam emails like this. Always be sure the sender is legitimate before clicking any link or downloading/opening any file in an email.
Do you need further help?
We have a free video that demonstrates how to detect a fake email - here is the link:
If you need further help in assessing whether an email is real or a fake, you can forward the email to iTandCoffee (at firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will check it for you to let you know if it is safe.
If you are looking to learn more about your Mac, why not attend our great class series, called 'Getting to know your Mac' - check out the dates below.
Become a member of The iTandCoffee Club
There are so many scam emails flying around the internet these days, and they are getting harder and harder to differentiate from the real versions.
This week, the Age published an interesting article on this topic, one that showed 'real' and 'fake' versions of emails and challenged you to detect which one is the 'scam' email.
Here is the article - I'd encourage you to take their test!
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