Mini-Article – Email Scams

By | November 5, 2005
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November 2005 Newsletter

Welcome to the November issue. After free anti-virus protection last month, this month you’ll find out about email scams to beware of, a couple of handy little tips and a chance to help me out with my next book, “Help my taskbar’s vanished”…Mini-Article – Email Scams
After finding out about anti-virus software last month, you should know about some of the email scams that are about. They aren’t exactly viruses because they don’t attack you computer. They try to get you to give personal information (generally bank details or passwords to your accounts with online shops) which they can then use to steal money from you.There are two main types:
The first is an email saying that the sender has had to leave a corrupt country and has lots of money which they can’t get out. If only they could go via a British bank account, they say, they could get the money that is rightfully theirs and wouldn’t have to live in poverty. They’d be so grateful to you if you’d help that they’d pay you 5% of the millions of pounds they want to transfer via you account for a few days. Of course, once they’ve got your details they’ll actually use them to steal your money.Sometimes they send a more vague email the first time and then will ask for your bank details later on if you reply.Don’t reply, even to say you’re not interested. It just tells them that you read your email. Then they’ll send you even more junk.The second type is an email claiming to be from ebay, paypal or some bank or other. It’ll look realistic and seem to be from the right email address. They say that there’s a problem with your account and it won’t work any more unless you update your details. Then they give you a link to click on. It’ll actually take you to a fake website, they’ll ask for your bank details or password and use it to steal you money or buy things pretending to be you so you get the bill later on. The simple rule is if you suspect an email is a fake, don’t click on any links. Go direct to the real website by typing their address into the address bar in Internet Explorer and check out your account. Or find their customer service email address from their website and ask them.Paypal and ebay have email addresses for reporting these kinds of emails: [email protected] and [email protected]Download of the month:
To carry on the security theme, here’s a link to a Microsoft site where you can download spyware protection for free:
Legal Disclaimer: I have no connection with any of these companies or products in any way and am in no way responsible for how well they work. I can’t claim any credit for them — that all goes to the respective companies that produced them!Reader’s Question
Do you have to put http:// and www in front of web page addresses?
Good question. It used to be that you needed the www but not the http:// So for example, if you were visiting my website, you’d type Some computers are still like this but now some are clever enough to add the www for you. On my fairly new PC I can just type and it finds the page for me. Handy — why not try it on your PC?Reader’s Tip
This comes from Margaret Coppard, who writes:
Many thanks for all your interesting items. Don’t know if you have given this shortcut before but if your screen suddenly goes blank and you think you have lost all your work, holding down Control and Z together brings it back again.
Thanks Margaret! Control (the key marked ctrl) & Z is a great shortcut that also acts as an “undo” function is most programs, so if you accidentally delete all you’ve written, or over-crop a photograph by mistake you can quickly press Control and Z and it’ll “undo” the last thing you did. Very useful indeed! (Though no excuse for not saving your work every so often!)Competition & survey… and a chance to get your name in a book
Well, the lucky winner of the £10 M&S voucher from last month is Brian Packer. Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey and competition!Lots of people are interested in “Help my taskbar’s vanished — common PC problems solved” so we’re going to publish it in January. I already have lots of problems and solutions to include but I want to make sure I get all the common problems people have had. Things like icons disappearing or not being able to view email attachments. So if you can think of a problem like this, why not send it to me? If I use it I’ll list your name in the credits page of the book to say thanks! (Don’t worry if you don’t have the solution – I’ll supply that!)Bye for now,

Tim Wakeling

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