a Friends Accidental Scam
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#1. It's ok to click a link if it's from a friend.
To test your current knowledge, take the quiz before you read the post.
I got an email from Facebook that I had a message from a friend of mine. I didn’t click any links, logging into Facebook instead. I then went to the Messenger app to view the message. It read:
did you see who died in an accident
(purposefully wrong & unclickable).
I felt a mixture of dread and curiosity. We had a lot of mutual friends. Who was killed? There was a lady a couple days before whose car was hit by a train not far from where I live. Could it be someone I knew? I could feel my emotions rising. That’s where the bad actors want us. It was from a friend. It’s safe to click the link, right? Wrong!!!!!!
Why? Other than the fact that most folks who know me don’t bother sending me photos
(think the judge with the guide dog in Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant”), usually the message would read more like:
Did you see where (name of mutual friend) died in an accident? It just didn’t feel right. Taking a breath to evaluate my emotions, get them under control, and consider the situation rationally likely saved me from having a very bad day.
So I went to my friend’s profile, where she’d posted she’d been hacked. Bullet dodged. If I had a malware testing computer, I’d have clicked it just for laughs & giggles to see what would happen. Since I don’t, I’ll pass, thank you very much!
So what should you do if you receive such a message?
- Log into the service purportedly sending the email using your web browser. Don’t click any email links.
- Read the message, but never click links in it.
- If you yourself ever send photos, include the following information to your recipients:
1) The name of the person you’re sending the message to:
2) A description of the content;
3) the filenames of the pictures; and
4) Your signature.
It sounds complicated, but it’s really quite easy.
Hi, (your name): I’m sending you 3 pics from my last vacation: pic.jpg, pic2.jpg, & pic3.jpg. Enjoy. Jackie
Pretty straightforward, and, as of yet, malware just doesn’t do that.
Stop and think
Before you click that link.
“Be smart, be wise.
And, for those who’ve never heard “Alice’s Restaurant” and want to understand the reference, or for those who remember it and want to walk down memory lane and revisit the 1967 classic, here is a link to the song in all its 18min 15sec glory:
Alice’s restaurant original 1967 recording
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