Been getting a couple of emails saying my Amazon order is on hold. I do a lot of business through them, but this sounded a little suspect.
It was. A lot suspect.
Here’s the text of the email:
Your Amazon Order needs Urgent Attention Eric
Order # 687cd87779a67d9796f951915bb564f5 View order details
Amazon Email: email@example.com
ORDER PLACED: June 24 2016
SHIP TO: Eric View order details
ORDER STATUS: NOT CONFIRMED
Confirm your Order
Have a wonderful Day – Amazon
with one visit, you will be removed from our list. go here Write to This Address : 6500 hickory valley way knoxville tn 37918-5157
First off, what Amazon order?
This isn’t the first phishing attempt I’ve seen that uses Amazon as a cover. Hey, the company’s so big. They ship out a lot of stuff. It’s easy to lose track of all your orders. They use ground carriers. Which is no surprise — so many online hucksters use such emails to harvest your information.
There’s a special section in Hell for folks such as these. And if there isn’t, there should be. Maybe a special section where the most up-to-date technology is tin cans and string.
If you have even a rudimentary knowledge of online life and your BS detector is semi-operational, this one isn’t difficult to sniff out. In your email reader, look around the FROM header or swing your mouse over the link. It’s sloppy, but you’ll find the actual source of the email.
In this case it’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, swing your mouse over any hyperlinks. There’s not an Amazon to be found in any of the real addresses shown. Surprise surprise.
Oh, yes. Goes without saying. Anything that looks like a link, don’t click on it. Don’t click. Don’t … ohh crap …
I get asked this a lot, particularly on Facebook: So what’s the harm of clicking?
I haven’t checked this specific one, but all kinds of things can happen when you click unknown links. A goodie can be installed on your computer to suck up your personal information. A virus. A piece of malware. Something that may take over your email box and use your address to send out more delightful missives such as this one.
I have two Amazon accounts; one for purchasing and one for publishing. This email came to the address associated with my publishing account. Another red flag.
This is kind of like my ever-popular PayPal scam. Those phishing attempts are usually in the wrong pond, like to email addresses that have nothing to do with my PayPal account. Oops, try again.
At the bottom of this “Amazon” offering there’s another link to remove my name from that list.
Said the spider to the fly.
Like these guys are invading my email box under false colors anyway. Do you think I’m gonna trust them?
Always be careful when surfing and checking your email. Remember these precautions. Bookmark them, print them, but remember them.
As I’ve written so many times here:
In the meantime, enjoy your computer. Have fun checking out Facebook, Buzzfeed and those cat videos. Feel free to read your news online (including this blog). Buy books from Amazon including mine, heh-heh. Do your shopping online. Use the Internet to make a living. Use the online tools to run several aspects of your life by remote control (like my own use of online banking). It’s safer than it once was, it’s convenient, it’s a Godsend.
But again, be careful.