Just some pointers this morning on how to avoid email phishing attempts. I received this message in my inbox this morning and wanted to share it with you. First thing you will notice is that the email says it it from americanexpress.gov. Now the .gov extension is reserved for government entities. This would not be available to a private company such as American Express. That should be your first tip off that it is not real.
Secondly as I put my mouse pointer over the word “login” which is linked to a website, Outlook gives me a little pop-up that tells me where that link is really gonna go. You will notice that this link is going to metflex.uk.com which certainly has nothing to do with Amercian Express so this is definately a Phishing Scam. Now Outlook does this with a little pop-up but if you are using some sort of web based email your web browser will usually show you in the bottom left corner where a link is really gonna go when you hover over it.
Thirdly, I don’t have an American Express account so obviously I wouldn’t even think of it being real but if 1 in 3 people do have an American Express card then their chances of getting someone to fall for this are pretty good.
I have had people tell me things over the years that just don’t make any sense to me. One in particular I remember a guy opened an email that said he had a voicemail message so he proceeded to open the attachment and got his computer infected. My first question was “Do you have some sort of service that would email you a voicemail?” and he responded with “No”. I replied “Why the heck would you open it then?”
You just have to use some basic common sense and most of these problems can be avoided easily. If someone knocked on your door and said he was from the gas company and he needed to check your basement, would you not look at his ID, his uniform, his truck to make sure he is who he says he is? We just need to do the same for people who knock on the door of our inboxes.
If you happen to fall for this sort of scam and get your computer infected do not fret as we can clean it up and provide some basic instruction on how to avoid this sort of thing in the future. Our silver virus cleaning package includes a set of tool and the instruction and directions on how to use them to keep your computer virus and spyware free. We take the time to sit with you and make sure you know how to use these simple free malware tools and know what to look for and what t avoid. Just the same as driving on Northeast Pennsylvania’s road we need to avoid some of the internet “potholes”.
Lastly the below image is what was at the bottom of the email. None of the apparent links to American Express or customer service actually work. They try to convince you they are the real deal by using americanexpress.com/phishing in the bottom portion. This appears to be a real link but it is simply blue text so it looks like it is real.