Email Hoaxes – A Phishing Scam

I Won $400!

How would you feel if you unexpectedly received an email stating you won $400? I was elated to receive an email message like that from one of my respected paid-to-read-email sites –the donkeymails.com. The message appears to be very realistic but with few details and then a “click here” link. Here’s a snapshot of that message:

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It said please click to collect your online money so I clicked without thinking. Fortunately, the link didn’t work. The link led me into a web page full of nothing but HTML codes. Had the link worked I might be a willing victim of phishing.

As defined by Webopedia.com, phising is the act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.

The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information. PayPal, eBay and online banks are common targets.

I tried to email back the sender but Mr. MAILER-DAEMON says, “Hi. This is the qmail-send program at yahoo.com. I’m afraid I wasn’t able to deliver your message to the following addresses. This is a permanent error; I’ve given up. Sorry it didn’t work out”.

After some thoughtless thoughts, I remembered to log-in to my account at donkeymails.com. I checked my donkey mails account inbox but I didn’t see any similar message saying I won $400. Another lesson worth sharing.