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e-mail scams! What to watch out for…

I have been receiving a bunch of e-mail scams recently and thought I would just let people know how to avoid being caught by the more obvious scams. Where to look for clues as to if an e-mail is real or not.

Remember each time you respond to a spammer, you are validating that your address is correct and active. And that’s just what they are looking for active e-mail addresses.

Firstly, get and use the latest version Mozilla Thunderbird as your browser. It can detect some of the scams and handles general spam far better than Outlook Express.

If there is any doubt or discrepancy in the e-mail you have been sent, delete it. Bad ingrish english, delete it.

Let’s take a look at a mail I was sent. This is an actual screen capture from my PC. See how Thunderbird has marked it as a possible scam.


Watch out for “the hook”, in this case there is supposedly a message from a friend. Yay!

Clues that this mail is bullshit:-

  • Thunderbird has tagged it as a possible scam

Subject: Friend sent you a greeting ecard from greetingcard.org!

  • Bad ingrish
  • A valid site would put my friends name in i.e. Sandy Smith sent you…
  • Exclamation mark!, watch out for the oversell

From: greetingcard.org <rio@nchcityschools.org>

  • Mismatched domains i.e. why is the mail from nchcityschools.org
  • If you visit greetingcard.org you will find info on e-mail scams exactly like this one

To: grant at handshake.co.za

  • If this came from a friend and a trustworthy site it would most likely have my name and e-mail address i.e. Grant Day <grant at handshake.co.za>

Body: Friend has created…

  • Is this ingrish
  • the fact that the link is to an IP address i.e. instead of greetingcard.org is a giveaway. Watch out though for false links, i.e. links that look legitimate but when you scroll over the link you find it points somewhere else entirely.

And the final clue that this mail in complete rubbish, I have no friends, boo hooo.

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