|Let me be
|Let me be
A new twist to the virus story goes like this: You recieve an email from a company such as AOL or Verizon and it contains a password-protected .Zip file with instructions how to open the file. They make the claim that there is something wrong with your account or that you need to update your program. DO NOT OPEN THIS FILE! No company will ever send you a file that you haven't specifically asked for it. No update service will send you unasked-for files in your email, either. Just delete these types of email and you will be much better off in the long run.
Also, in a new version of the PAYPAL scam, you recieve a letter addressed to "PAYPAL customer" or "PAYPAL account" that says that you need to update something, and gives you a legitimate looking link to PAYPAL.com. (Something like this- https://paypal.com/customer_service) But the link really takes you to a webpage that downloads a virus to your computer. PAYPAL will always address you by your first and last name that you gave them when you created your account. If paypal ever wants you to contact them, they will ask you by name to go to paypal.com and log in to your account. They will NEVER provide you with a direct link. Do not click on any link to paypal that you recieve in an email.
There is a new hoax going around the internet. the object is to get your banking and identification info. In this scam, you recieve an email that goes something like this:
To whom it may concern;
In cooperation with the Department Of Homeland Security, Federal, State and Local Governments your account has been denied insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation due to suspected violations of the Patriot Act. While we have only a limited amount of evidence gathered on your account at this time it is enough to suspect that currency violations may have occurred in your account and due to this activity we have withdrawn Federal Deposit Insurance on your account until we verify that your account has not been used in a violation of the Patriot Act.
As a result Department Of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge has advised the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to suspend all deposit insurance on your account until such time as we can verify your identity and your account information.
Please verify through our IDVerify below. This information will be checked against a federal government database for identity verification. This only takes up to a minute and when we have verified your identity you will be notified of said verification and all suspensions of insurance on your account will be lifted.
[spoofed URLs go here]
Failure to use IDVerify below will cause all insurance for your account to be terminated and all records of your account history will be sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington D.C. for analysis and verification. Failure to provide proper identity may also result in a visit from Local, State or Federal Government or Homeland Security Officials.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
Donald E. Powell
Chairman Emeritus FDIC
The FDIC does not contact private people individually about thier "accounts". In fact, individual persons don't have "accounts" with the FDIC.
Also, if the Department of Homeland Security feels that you are in violation of the patriot act, they won't be discussing it with FDIC, they will be tapping you on the shoulder and saying "come with us, please." So please, don't click on the links or reply in any way to these scams, just delete them.
There are several new viruses floating around, and they aren't that hard to stop, if you pay attention to how you use your email.
One comes and says that your PayPal or Visa account is going to expire within a few days if you don't click on the attachment. Neither PayPal nor Visa (or any other legitimate business) will ever send you an attachment. Ever. So, don't click on it, just delete the email. If PayPal or Visa (or any other legitimate business) ever need important information from you, they will ask you to log in to your account at thier regular, secure, site. Don't ever provide information to the senders of unsolicited email or click on thier attachments or links.
Another new threat comes as an attachment that tries to open when you open your email. It will open a pop-up box that asks something like "do you want to run or install XXXXXX.XXX ?" Always deny this program, it is a virus. Close the pop-up and delete the email.
For more information regarding email spoofs about financial companies, go to www.paypal.com or www.visa.com or the website of whatever financial institution you use.
Wow! they just keep getting better and better! I wrote about the Paypal scam that tells you that your account is about to expire, but now someone has the audacity to send a "follow up" letter "reminding you that you need to answer the original letter! Here is a copy (with the malicious links deleted):
Dear XXX XXXX,
On 01/10/04, I sent you an email regarding your PayPal account. As part of PayPal's commitment to excellence, I want to make sure I met your needs in my response. Would you please take a minute to answer a few questions to let me know how I did?
XXX www link deleted XXX
To respond to our survey, please click on the web address above. If that does not work, please cut and paste the entire web address into the address field of your browser.
NOTE: Please respond within five days so that you can provide timely feedback to me, Scott. After 5 days, this invitation will expire.
Thank you for your help!
PayPal Customer Support
** An important note from the survey vendor **
If you want to be excluded from future surveys and survey correspondence, please click below:
XXX www link deleted XXX
Do Not click on these links! They do not bring you to PayPal, they do not bring you to EBay. They bring you to a site that collects your personal information and puts a virus (a worm, actually) on your computer. If PayPal or EBay ever want information from you, they will ask you to log in to your account, and go from there. They will never send you a link, they will never send you an attachment.
Wow! A new virus that tries to help you out before it wreaks havoc on you! There is a virus out now that tries to download the patch for the "blaster" virus. The trouble is, it then destroys your windows! If you recieve an email from ANYBODY that tells you to go to
Another approach to spreading viruses that is becoming more and more popular is using popups to tell you that you need to download
Another great website to go for virus information is Vmyths.com. It expalins the differences between viruses and hoaxes, and how to keep safe from hoaxes. The author is rather sarchastic, but he is fun to read. The author has been called to active duty, so some of the information is old, but is still valuable none-the-less.
One of the simplest ways to reduce the chance that you will be attacked by a hacker or other internet nasty is to keep your operating system updated. Check out Microsoft's Windows Update or Apple's Support page. If you are using Linux or something completely different, you probably don't need MY help;-)
Two easy ways to reduce the spread of email viruses and worms is by reducing the number of names in your address book and also by limiting the number of address books that your name is in.
Here is how:
First,to reduce the number of names in your address book. Take a look at your address book, remove all of the names that you do not recognize. If they are important, you will recognize them. They probably got in there when you replied to an email that they also recieved. you can stop your address book from filling up with these addresses by unchecking the box "Add people that I reply to to my address book". The box may say something simmilar or slightly different, and is probably located in the options menu, depending which email program you use. If you would like help finding this, please let me know.
Second, help reduce the number of names going into other people's address books this same way. When you forward mail to several people, instead of puting thier address in the "TO" field of the email, put it in the "BCC" field. Then, when they reply or forward that mail it won't show all of the addresses of the people in the "BCC" field.
There have been a number of nasty computer viruses and the like going aroung lately. MsBLAsTER is currently the heavy hitter, but there are others as well.
Most of the viruses need your help to spread. You need to either open an attachment, or visit a malicious web site to get infected.
It can't be said enough- If you get an email from someone that you don't know, or if you get an email that you don't expect from someone that you do know, DON'T OPEN ANY ATTACHMENTS OR CLICK ON ANY LINKS!
If you recieve an email with an attachment from a friend, and you didn't ask for it, call them and ask if they intended to send it to you -before- you open it.
If you aren't sure, just delete it. If it is important information, the person writing will make sure that you get it.
You should also have an anti-virus program running all of the time. If you can't afford to buy one, AVG is an excellent FREE anti-virus tool, you can find others at Google. Also, be sure to get the free updates that most vendors offer at least once every week or two.
A firewall is also very important, and you can get one of the best firewalls available for free from Zone Alarm. When it is set up properly, it not only stops hackers from getting into your computer, it stops malicious programs from sending information out. you can also find other firewalls at Google.
I have recieved over 350 chain letters in the last month, as you may have. These letters are as bad as viruses, especially for people with slow internet connections. One day last week, I got 94 messages at one account, it took almost a half-hour to download them all- just so that I could delete them.
Chain letters are not hard to spot. Often, they start with something like "You're not going to believe this!" or "This will make you so mad!". Another sure clue is when the entire subject line or even the whole letter is in capital letters.
If a letter is designed to make you angry about something, it is probably a chain letter. Many of these letters contain a "petition" for you to "sign" and pass on.
Some letters will ask you for personal information, passwords, or even money. There are NO legitimate businesses that will ask you for these things, unsolicited, through your email! None!
Most of these letters have been around for a while, and you can check to see if they are a hoax by visiting The Urban Legends Pages.