Friday, September 05, 2008

Virus Alert

The latest in virus email is to claim that your credit card has been charged and the attached file contains your receipt. They use big name companies with online shopping like Northwest Airlines (all of the airlines have been hit with this scam). They play on the fear we all have of our credit card being stolen and they use your email address in combination with big name online retailers or even the IRS to try to snag you into opening the attachment and infecting yourself.

This is known as a phishing (pronounced fishing) scam. They want you to call the phone number, click the link, open the enter your credit card number and billing information to cancel the supposed charge. It will also install software on your computer that searches for strings of numbers representing social security numbers and credit cards. It's easy enough to do. What else but a social security number has the pattern xxx-xx-xxxx? When they find that pattern they grab the document and off it goes to Russia, or China or Korea, then for sale on the Internet.

The solution here is the same as always. Never open an attachment that you were not expecting. If someone sends you an attachment, even someone you know, verify with them what it is before you open it.

Here's an example of the virus email:

Dear Gentlemen,

Thank you for using our new service "Buy flight ticket Online" on our website.

Your account has been created:

Your login: (your email address here)

Your password: passPJM6

Your credit card has been charged for $658.04.

We would like to remind you that whenever you order tickets on our website you get a discount of 10%!

Attached to this message is the purchase Invoice and the airplane ticket.

To use your ticket, simply print it on a color printed, and you are set to take off for the journey!

Kind regards,

Northwest Airlines



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