Odd Thoughts: Phishing ultimately flounders

My phone made a sound like something was dropped into a mailbox made out of an old pail.

In the pail was a receipt for a video game, which the senders of said email hoped I was was enjoying to the fullest.

But I hadn’t bought any video games… to my knowledge, at least.

Had I accidentally clicked on something while browsing the Internet? Had I downloaded something without realizing it?

The cost of the game was just under $40. But… I had not purchased any such thing. Had I?

Oh no! Now my mind was racing. I slipped into semi-panic mode.

Was my iTunes account hacked? Was someone buying stuff and charging it to me?

Why would they buy something so small? Why only $40? Surely such a clever thief could do better than a paltry $40!

I scanned the email again and noticed: if I had not made the purchase, I should click on the link below and immediately inform the people at Apple so they could fix it.

So, right away… I did NOT click the link.

My first reaction was exactly what the authors of the email had hoped. They wanted me to panic and click on the link without thinking.

Instead, I switched to my web browser and started typing “itunes email receipt…”

For this sort of stuff, Google is amazing. If you’re suspicious that you’re being had for a patsy, pick a few pertinent words and let your browser do the rest. I didn’t even finish typing when I had my answer: I was on the wrong end of a phishing expedition. The email was a scam.

Nobody had my banking or iTunes account information. But if I had clicked on the link, I would have been invited to answer a series of questions aimed at robbing me blind.

The iTunes Store does not ask for sensitive personal or financial information, such as passwords and account numbers.

If you do click on an email link, make sure the web address you get to makes sense. The site might look right – it’s part of what makes a fraud effective – but if the address doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.

The older we are, the less likely we are to understand this stuff, and the more likely we are to act hastily… playing right into the bad guys’ hands.

So if something doesn’t look right, don’t panic. Take a bit of time to think. If you’re up to it, ask Google for help.

Or just find someone under 20 to explain it to you.

 

 

Just Posted

54-40 thrills Aldergrove Fair crowd: VIDEO

54-40 were joined on stage by the band members’ dancing children, the “Aldergrove Rockettes”

ZONE 3: Luck played no part in getting Riley Ward to the BC Games

Langley baller flouts misfortune on the floor; he’d rather get by on hard work

Third straight loss ends Langley’s Junior B Thunder season

The local squad could not snare a win against the Port Coquitlam Saints.

Giants bringing Point Roberts talent to Langley

The Vancouver Giants have announced a new signing.

VIDEO: New doctors, but fewer spaces for patients in Langley

Retirements have left some Langley residents without a family physician.

VIDEO: B.C.’s best granfondo tours the Fraser Valley

A mass, long distance bike ride is Sunday, with participants riding from Langley as far as Yarrow.

B.C. VIEWS: Unions regain control of public construction

B.C.’s 40-year battle swings back to international big labour

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Fraser Surrey Docks mechanic dies on the job

‘This is a very sad day - a worker went to his job this morning and didn’t go home’

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

Most Read