Phishing e-mails are sent by scammers to get you to click on a link or call them. They are designed to get you to give the scammers your login credentials, personal information, or money. 

Phishing is, and will continue to be, the cybercriminals' favorite mode of attack. The reason is that it’s easy to dupe even the smartest person with a cunning e-mail. Attacks are becoming more creative. Spoof e-mails will become more difficult to differentiate from authentic ones. 

DO NOT FALL FOR THEIR REQUESTS FOR YOU TO CLICK![Text Wrapping Break]⦁ Phishing e-mails can deposit malicious software (Malware) on your computer if you click the attachment. 

⦁ Phishing e-mails can steal your sign-in credentials for your online accounts if you click on the link in the e-mail. Sometimes they claim the security of your account has been breached. 

Clever subject lines, such as “changes to your health benefits”, “unusual login detected”, “payment alert”, or “antivirus expiration”, con you into opening the e-mail and taking action. Deceptive links in the e-mail may send you to malicious websites. Images in the e-mail look like logos from reputable companies, such as Amazon, McAfee, or Norton. 

HOW TO SPOT A PHISHING E_MAIL:[Text Wrapping Break]Some e-mail services spot phishing e-mails and route them to your spam/junk folder. Becoming more security aware can reduce your risk of acting on phishing attacks by 75%. To identify a phishing e-mail, look for:[Text Wrapping Break]1. Who the e-mail is FROM: hover your mouse over the FROM name. If it did not come from the company in the message, it is a phishing scam.[Text Wrapping Break]2. Check for bad grammar and spelling in the message. If it is not perfect English, it is most likely phishing.[Text Wrapping Break]3. An urgency that scares you into action, or a “too good to be true” offer of winning a prize are other big clues. 

A REAL-LIFE STORY:[Text Wrapping Break]This sophisticated phishing e-mail attack actually happened to one of my clients recently:[Text Wrapping Break]1. An attachment in an e-mail contained a javascript.JSON file, that got downloaded when clicked on. NOTE: If there are .JSON files in your Downloads file, delete them.[Text Wrapping Break]2. the .JSON file auto-plays in the next few days, it does the following nasty work:[Text Wrapping Break]⦁ creates a new e-mail address that looks almost like yours[Text Wrapping Break]⦁ and sends an email to all of your contacts, asking for a response; the reply-to address is their newly created e-mail.[Text Wrapping Break]⦁ configures your e-mail for forwarding all of your new incoming e-mails to their new e-mail address.[Text Wrapping Break]⦁ filters all new incoming e-mails to your deleted/trash folder[Text Wrapping Break]3. You stop seeing new e-mails in your INBOX. 

If this happens to you, call Linda to do the following clean-up.[Text Wrapping Break]1. immediately change the password for your e-mail account.[Text Wrapping Break]2. scan and quarantine all malware using AdwCleaner and Malwarebytes.[Text Wrapping Break]3. delete the SETTINGS option that is forwarding your e-mail to the scammer's e-mail address.[Text Wrapping Break]4. delete the SETTINGS option that filters all incoming e-mails to your TRASH/DELETED folder.[Text Wrapping Break]5. test sending an e-mail to your e-mail address to validate that it arrives in your INBOX.[Text Wrapping Break]6. examine the messages in your TRASH, delete those you do not want, and handle the rest. There will likely be many 'bounced' messages in the trash - one for each outdated address that could not be delivered. 

If you are not sure if an e-mail is phishing, you can forward the e-mail to Linda at for my review. 

I am committed to protecting your computers at an affordable price. Thank you for trusting me to keep your computers healthy. Contact us at 239-567-0104 to discuss joining Learn Computer 101, renew your protection software, or schedule computer and internet help. Be well. 

By Linda Lindquist, April 10, 2022