Another Email Scam

Another Email Scam | Tech Tips Article by PcCG

If you don't take the time to read this post (which you should!) then let me give you the "TL;DR" version: DON'T LET ANYONE IN YOUR COMPUTER THAT YOU DON'T KNOW AND FULLY TRUST. The scammers will tell you "It's ok, no problem, don't worry" and somehow, beyond my comprehension, people accept that and allow the person access to their computer.

Dang it, I got busted! The department of Police are reaching out to me... via Email. 

Seriously - people fall for these things all the time (otherwise they wouldn't do it). How can we tell this is fake, and possibly a virus or a scam? Let's analyze: 

Scam Email

1. "Department of Police". Really? There is no "Department of Police".

2. Look at the address it came from. Prospects@Whatever. If it were legit, it would come from a proper .gov address.

3. ZIP Attachment (This is where it say - The reason things are sent as "Zip" is they can contain malware or virus hidden inside the zip file. It's done to hide the contents of what's inside. You will almost never receive an email attachment as "zip" anymore for that very reason. 

4. It's sent from an address that makes you feel they are an authority - to scare you into doing what they say. 

5. Poor English; clearly not sent from the "Police" and/or a reputable business or government agency. 

It's usually pretty easy to identify these scam emails and avoid them. Simply reading/opening the email will NOT harm your computer. If you open the attachment, THEN you may be in trouble; but don't worry about the mere action of reading the email. 

I cannot stress enough that if you spend just a little time to learn and educate others on how to avoid scams the cyber-world would be a vastly better place. The reason scamming is so rampant today is that people sadly allow themselves to become victims. These losers have no problem stealing thousands from retired sweet old ladies. Involving law enforcement is a waste of time due to the complexity of international law and the ability of these losers to hide anywhere. Tracking down just ONE scammer can take tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Knowing this, you can see how it's sadly impractical to do much of anything about it from a law-enforcement perspective. What we CAN do - that would have a HUGE impact on stopping this nonsense - is educating yourselves and others. If their success rate fell by 90% - it would no longer be worth their time to run these scams.  

I truly wish we could get our hands on these low-life scum bags, and impose severe punishments on them; but we can't. We can however, educate ourselves and others so that we don't fall victim to their deplorable acts (notice a reoccurring piece of advice?  )

As I'm writing this post I just received a scammer phone call. Literally while writing about scammers, I get a call that my Apple ID has been hacked. (This is particularly amusing as many people know I'm not a fan of Apple; and don't have an Apple ID). I fired up my "virtual machine", audio and screen capture software and played along. Stay tuned for that post in the next couple hours. 

Another thing that can be done by those of us who KNOW it's a scam - is to waste their time. Play along, and eat up as much of their time as possible. By doing this you reduce the number of people they can try and take advantage of. Here is a channel of a guy that seems to do this full time, they are informative and entertaining. - Watching these videos allows you to see what these losers do, and how they operate. ANYONE that may be a potential victim should watch at least a couple of these videos. 

I took the time to compose this post because it saddens me when one of my customers call, and explain they fell for the scam. It happens weekly. Don't let it happen to you, your friends, or your family. 

Please, stop rewarding bad guys by giving them your hard-earned money. 

Some of our other posts on scamming can be found here:

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