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Phishing Season

It is always Phishing season!

It is amazing to see all of the spam and phishing expeditions I see each day into my University email account. Much like the random phone dialers, computers that are plugging away at email address variations are spamming us, hoping to hit paydirt. I haven’t been scammed but I have seen some pretty sophisticated sites that made me do a double take on whether they were real or bogus. I have several accounts at US Bank. I received an email from them requesting verification of some account numbers. Included in the body of the request was a link that looked correct. It was exactly the same as a US Bank link so it didn’t raise any alarms. But I was fortunate enough to look at the address bar when I moved the cursor over the link because there was the slightest difference from what was on the link in the email and what showed up in the title bar. Obviously a case of images masking underlying text per the reading this week “Why Phishing Works?. I was so excited and amazed I couldn’t wait to call US Bank and turn in the scam artists. Their reaction was rather ho-hum. I guess they see these things all of the time.

We have a broadband connection at home and we use Mozilla for our browser. We have switched our ISP a number of times in the last 6 months due to the Roadrunner-Time Warner-Comcast buyouts. Comcast has raised the rates to $57 per month if you don’t have cable. We have now switched to EarthLink and we are in the process of updating all of our contacts with our new address. When we were with Roadrunner we established an email account for our 12 year-old. Even though we preached the rules and regulations about the internet, kids always know more than their parents. It wasn’t long before our son was receiving 100+ spam emails per day. Fortunately he has learned his lesson and we have curtailed most of the wayward surfing and emailing from his account.

The scammers in Nigeria aren’t behaving like Robin Hood. They may feel like they are taking from the rich but they are giving to the rich. They are preying on the many clueless individuals who are looking for something that is too good to be true. They should all be punished to the full extent of the law.

As long as we all have an understanding of what Wiki is, there shouldn’t be a problem using it for information. Unfortunately too many people view any written word as the truth. If they want to believe it they will.