Every few days I receive an email forwarded from a good friend. The appended question is always the same: “What should I do?”
My answer is almost always the same: “SCAM!” I used to receive a follow-up email from her saying “But it says urgent!” or “It says my bank account will be frozen if I don’t respond today!” My answer was still the same: “SCAM!”
Email scams are so prevalent that some people receive more scam emails than legitimate ones. This has prompted some users to abandon using email in favor of one of the many messaging apps, but unfortunately the scam artists are following.
Over the last few months a well-written phishing message sent via Facebook Messenger has scammed more than 10 million users. These Facebook users have been tricked into revealing their account password to the scammers who then use those hacked accounts to send out more scam messages to all the user’s friends. This is why you cannot trust any message; especially if it comes from someone you know and trust. And this is why if you are one of my friends and you let yourself be hacked you might receive a phone call from me asking “Did you send me a message at 3:28 a.m. offering me a $100 Amazon gift certificate if I tell you my date of birth and Social Security Number?” In other words, before I click on anything I phone my friend to verify they really sent me that message.