Holiday Scams Part 3: Gifts That Aren’t
Here’s an email I recently received. Although it’s clearly a scam, GMail let it through. Be vigilant. Just because an email service provider let something into your inbox doesn’t mean it’s legit.
From: Tony Walton firstname.lastname@example.org
to: my personal email address
We were thinking about you and know how busy life can get. We wanted to do something nice for you specifically this Christmas, so we hooked you up with a $750 FREE PAYPAL Card . . .almost enough for an entire family’s shopping wish list! Here’s the deal: In exchange for access to this exclusive offer, we just need your email address to verify that you are a real human who is at least 18 years of age. Who would say no to that? Trust me and give it a try right now. Wishful thinking won’t make this card come any faster!
Happy Christmas to you and your family in Advance
Click here for Gift Card
Contact on FB :-Tony Walton
(Links not included for obvious reasons).
The link to click for the gift card points to link.gmgb4.net.
Initially, although I found the email thoroughly suspect, I nonetheless found myself thinking for just a moment how nice it was that someone was thinking of me and how cool it would be to get $750. It didn’t take even a second for reality to set in, but it was a nice thought while it lasted. At first blush, it might be tempting to start clicking links. What harm would it do to simply provide an email address, after all, or contact someone on Facebook? Maybe more than you think.
The first thing that would happen is that if you do so, you’re now very likely on someone’s “sucker list.” This means you’ve shown more willingness than most to interact with those involved. The supposed Facebook contact link does not point to Facebook at all, but again to link.gmgb4.net. If you hover over a link with your mouse or right-click and choose copy link from the popup menu that appears, you can see the real address you’re being directed to.
Just for the halibut, I decided to see if I could ascertain whether that site contained any malware (bad code), so I went to:
sitecheck.securi.net and entered the site into the search box. Although no malware was found, they noted that the site was blacklisted by McAfee. Likely not a good idea to visit there.
I next went to google and did a search on link.gmgb4.net. others were stating they’d received scam emails from this domain as well.
Thirdly, much as they were “thinking about me”, I noticed they didn’t bother including my name. Kind of a dead giveaway, I suspect.
And lastly, notice the urgency, as in:
“Who would say no to that? Trust me and give it a try right now. Wishful thinking won’t make this card come any faster!”
Be smart, be wise, always verifies. & stop and think before you click that link.
Please note that it’s entirely possible that the email header was faked, or Tony’s email was compromised, and thus poor Tony may have nothing whatever to do with this and is in fact a victim as well.
Have a safe, happy, and scam-free holiday.
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