Two phishing attacks are hitting my in-box hard today.
One tries to trick you into logging into your Facebook account to see the new features available to you. This is a really clever angle since earlier this week Facebook unleashed a site redesign which has been widely panned in part because Facebook didn’t pre-announce the changes or explain them.
This phishing email sounds like Facebook is responding to criticism by telling you of changes and inviting you to learn more about them.
Of course, if you do click on the link, you’ll go to a site that looks like Facebook but is, in fact, a fraudulent site somewhere in the European Union. The crooks want you to give up your Facebook user name and password. From there they’ll have access to your Facebook account and can post and send messages coming from “you” to trick your friends into giving up more information. Or worse.
The second attack is an email supposedly from the FDIC telling me that my bank has been taken over. According to a warning I heard on the radio, if you click on the link to the phony FDIC site, you’re asked to put in your bank account number and other identifying information. Guess what happens after you do this?
Practicing Safer Computing
Here’s how I quickly spotted these messages as phony:
- I hovered my cursor over the links. Microsoft Outlook pops up a message showing the real destination of any link when the cursor is held over it. In these cases the destination started out with “www.Facebook.com” or “www.FDIC.gov”, but the location kept going and in both emails ended with a “.eu”. This means I’d be taken to crooked sites in the European Union and not to a business or government site in the US. (Check out an earlier post about a phishing attack for more information on uncovering where a link is really going to take you.)
- The FDIC mail was sent to an email address that I don’t use for banking. [email protected] simply is not used for those activities, so why would I get messages in that inbox?
- I wasn’t expecting email from either organization. I don’t click on links in email when I am not expecting the message. Even when I do get a notice from my real credit card companies or bank, I don’t click on their link. Instead I type the address in myself (or use my bookmarked location).
- I am getting multiple copies of each message. They’re being sent to every email address I have displayed on the Internet, and I think I am getting multiple copies to the same email account. No real sender would be so unselectively spammy.
Yeah, I could wind up falling for tomorrow’s phishing attack. I know no one is immune. But, these two didn’t get me. Don’t let them get you!