Lazy Phish

Even the thieves are not trying anymore

We all know that ‘phishing’—or the act of scamming folks into giving personal up information—has gotten way outta hand. Some results are just annoying like having a hacker post sales pitches to your MySpace friends. Others are more serious like someone finding out how to get into your PayPal account.

Hints to look for when confronted with an email or a website asking for your password and/or user information include checking the URL on the link they want you to click. Without clicking, hover your mouse over the link. Then look down at the lower left corner of the screen. If you’ve already clicked, then look at the location bar at the top of the screen. Does the URL actually match up with the company they claim to be? In every case of phishing, it won’t.

Also, in the case of trying to scam your PayPal account—or for that matter any financial institution—to make it look real they may include the line ‘You should never give your password to anyone, including our employees’. Yet when you click on the link, the first thing they ask for is your password. Or if all else fails, you can just check to see if the person emailing you bothered to use spell check.

I got the email below alleging a problem with my PayPal account. They misspelled the word update. Come on now. Can’t we even rely on the efficiency of thieves anymore? Or have we gotten so lazy that the thieves know we won’t even notice such things? Still … it made me giggle when I got it.

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