The Email SpyWare Attachment Scam
The Email Spyware attachment scam has actually been around for quite some time. In the older days, this scam was actually quite easy to see through, but today, this scam has evolved and is much harder to distinguish. In fact, many experienced Internet users have fallen for this scam as well.
This is how the Email Spyware attachment scam works. You will receive an email from those scammers informing you of a certain event that need your urgent attention. They will include a file that relates to the situation in the attachment section of the email. The message will require you to open the attachment and read what is in the file.
But when you open the file in the attachment, it is actually a SpyWare. Of course when we clicked on it, nothing happens in the screen, and most people just think that it is a corrupted file. But the truth is that the Spyware is already in action and is sending your personal information over to the scammer.
It looks simple enough that most of us would know that there is something fishy with it right? But the excuses that those scammers are using nowadays are becoming more and more convincing. In fact, even I was fooled by this method. Let me give you a few examples of the excuses that they will use as well as the one that tricked me.
The scammer posed as an authority for a Internet Service Provider (ISP), and informed me that I had a few major complaints from people that I was doing some fraudulent activities online. They claimed that if I do not appeal the decision, I will be banned from them. They included a file in the attachment that they claimed were the charges and complaints against me.
I opened the attachment and I saw a file named Official_Suspension.doc. I saw that it was a document file so I downloaded it and opened it. When I saw that nothing happened, I immediately got suspicious. I immediately ran a virus scan and was lucky to be able to safely delete the SpyWare without affecting any of my files. The file was actually not a document file, but they just added the .doc into the name of the SpyWare file to make it look like a document file.
Another excuse that those scammers used for the email SpyWare attachment scam is by claiming to be a credit card agency. They will send you an email claiming that they found out that your credit card had been involved in some large transactions or fraudulent transactions. They will then ask you to check the credit card log that has been sent to you to confirm what has happened.
The scammers will even pose as an airline service informing you that you have booked a certain flight to a certain destination, and that they have included the details of your flight in the attachment. Sometimes, they will even pose as the authorities and claim that your computer or credit card has been involved in fraudulent activities.
While all of these excuses are different, they all have the same effect. They pressure us into thinking that something has happened without our knowledge, and unless we confirm it with them, we stand to lose out a lot on it. In other words, these emails are used to create a sense of urgency on us. This makes us more worry about what they are claiming, than what they might pose to us.
This is one of the reason why the email SpyWare attachment scam has been such a dreaded scam recently. While the excuses they use will differ, they try to make us open the attachment which is a SpyWare by making us believe that it is something urgent. If you ever received such a email, I recommend that you confirm with the real company by phone before checking the attachment to minimize the possibility of us getting scammed by them.
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