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Newsflash! Scams on Internet!

…Meanwhile, all the other scams on the Internet continue unabated. Phishing emails are still the predominant way criminals try to steal from you, but instead of only asking for banking details, they've moved on to other online services like Facebook, Ebay and even Disney and Quickbooks.

Another common attack is a generic-looking request to log in to your mailbox, which is a way to trick you into giving up network or mailbox passwords. However phish attacks using well-known banking institutions are still the most common variety.

Other types of scams involve:

  • Emails trying to sell the “new version” of the free Adobe Acrobat, or an alternative to it.

One scam which refuses to go away is when someone actually calls you, says they are from Microsoft and there's a problem with your machine. They then ask you to perform a variety of tasks so they can remote-in and compromise your system or steal credit card details etc. Of course, you should never respond to anything like this. Although widely known, this scam is still happening, and we still receive a few comments from clients who have received such calls. [2014 Update. Still happening!]

To complicate matters, you may receive similar warnings that are legitimate. For example, Google will contact website owners if they detect malicious content on their site (ie. if it has been compromised) or if they detect other errors, and ISPs will contact customers to tell them malicious traffic is originating from their service. And you will receive messages from mail providers that your mailbox is nearing capacity, or from banks and other providers to say there is a new bill for you on the website. So it can be very difficult for people to determine what is real and what is fake (and harmful).

A simple answer is to always seek advice about any “warnings” you receive that you're unsure about, so please contact us any time you are unsure — and don't panic.

Clients sometimes comment to us that they don't like to “bother” us with trifling matters — on the contrary, we always want to hear about these types of issues immediately.

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