Below is an example of an email spam (unwanted email) that is increasing in frequency. Overall, the email looks to be legit and normal. However, there are two parts of the email that you need to pay particular attention to:
- Who is it from? In the example below, I have no idea who Allison is. Red flag number 1. If you don’t recognize the name or the email address, be suspicious.
- Link in the email uses an URL (web address) shortener service. If I don’t know who it is from, I’m darn sure not going to click the unidentified link. Red flag number 2.
I started using TinyURL.com years ago in my email and on the radio to be able to quickly and clearly send someone to a long web site address with little hassle. However, with the rising popularity of Twitter and other quick messaging and blog services, more and more URL shortener services have emerged. Most of which have no problems. The problem is the person using the service. Since a web shortening service takes a web address and codes it into a much shorter and manageable link, an evil spammer could make www.IamGoingToHackYourComputer.com/yourPCisNowADoorStop.asp into snip.url/bestPC
In the pase, spammer simply changed the address of a link in an email, but with more and more people getting used to web address shortening addresses, this is their new tactic.
Study the email below and always look for the two red flag situations listed earlier in the article.