Complicated Nature of Spam
A short post for today and on a subject any one with an email account has come across
I decided to write this short article based on the rising number of personally targeted complex spam email messages that have been hitting inboxes over the last couple of months.
Today I got hit with this email
I went through your company profile and I understood that you are a Member of “Digital Brisbane”. We are working on list of potential clients, key decision makers and purchasing managers from following industries/Products: Business planning, Building a website, Technology, Digital marketing, Buying and selling, Skills and training, Driving efficiencies, The business case, Manufacturing, Automotive, Electronics, Medical, Energy, Software, Quality Assurance, Safety, Health and Environmental, Sustainability, Technical, Building, Manhole, Utility, Hardware, IT Management, Interior Design, Internet Business Networking, Website Development, Design & Consultation, Dealers, Wholesalers, Export & Import, Logistic and host of other industries, which can be used to sell or market your Products and Services in UK, USA, CANADA and worldwide.
Our list consists of Company name, Verified Email address, Phone, Fax and Complete Details which helps you to meet thousands of new prospects to enhance your business. If it sounds value, please provide me the below information required and I will get a list of potential clients as per your requirement.
Target Locations: __________________
Target Industries: _________________
Target Job titles: ___________________
It would be GREAT if you could reply at the earliest!
Thanks and Best Regards,
Marketing Manager “
Looks good at first glance doesn’t it ? A company who is trying to do a little outreach to promote their new Directory/Marketing list and get you signed up for it.
But as is the case with the majority of these spam emails they are simply trying to hook you and your business into confirming your email and giving out as much information as possible. Your probably thinking well what information would you be giving out that they don’t already have? They emailed you right so they have that and if you don’t tell them anything else.
Well lets think about this. You reply, they then have everything in your signature, confirmation that the email address exists and is active, and that in the case of my email above, I am apart of Digital Brisbane.
One thing I didn’t include with the email above was the contact address that it came through on
Suzane D’souza – [email protected]
An outlook email address for a company asking for details is always dodgy. Add to that the difference in the name signing and the actual email address name you begin to get the idea that this isn’t legitimate. And then if you re-read the email, no where in the text is there any company name, website or other relevant details.
And this is one of many emails that are heading out now with personalised attention.
Nearly everyone in Australia has been hit with the fake AGL energy bills or being in business hit with an emails with a subject line like
TechDesign Invoice Due 11/08/2016
With attached word document file and asking for quick and prompt payment for the invoice they have sent you.
There have been quite a few business owners who have received these emails, seen the request for a prompt payment of (in this email’s case) $1,347.00 and gone what!! and opened the document with out considering the implications.
A Microsoft word document can use Macros, to perform a saved series of commands with in the document that can effect the computer it is run on. Not everyone has Macros turned on by default and the newer versions of word can warn a user before continuing. But there is enough return on investment for the people sending these emails for them to keep doing it.
Spam email is getting more complex, the people sending the spam are also getting smarter in the way they are approaching people with these types of emails and the amount of information they are able to scrap from existing information sources – websites, databases, directories – is greater. With this greater amount of information the spam emails are looking more and more genuine and can easily trick a busy person dealing with a large volume of mail coming through.
What can you do to help avoid clicking on the wrong thing ?
- Read. Look at everything in the email, name, address, and content
- Stop – re-read the email again
- Look for a signature, other contact details, Phone, website etc
- If your unsure if it is genuine try to validate it, phone them, Google them
- Finally if it doesn’t look or feel right don’t open it
Especially if an email has an attachment be sure before you open it. One thing spammers are looking for is a way to install malicious software on your computer to hijack you passwords, processing time and access to anything they can exploit.
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