Just a quick heads-up to parents, as we recently became victims of a popular "spear phishing" email scam.
What is "spear phishing?"
"It is the fool who thinks he cannot be fooled" - Joey Skaggs
Basically spear phishing is a fake email that specifically targets you, pretending to be from a popular website that you use. The email may even include your name or personal info, making it a personalized scam just for you. (how special!)
Spear phishing emails go beyond the unsophisticated "Nigerian Prince" scams from years ago, and they're fooling thousands of people lately.
My son opened a fake "UPS shipping" email
Phishing is something I never told our kids about. Our oldest son is 10, and he's only had a gmail account for a few weeks. There are a number of things we've warned him about with email and going online, but not "spear phishing."
The actual email he opened mimicked a delivery confirmation number sent from UPS. Since we had recently placed an order through Amazon, (and included the UPS logo and our name) he assumed it was legitimate.
Well, after answering a few of our questions, we learned he entered our phone number, address, and Amazon login. At that point it was off to the races to change our password, but we're really not sure if that's all we should worry about.
See, when you click on these shady links or files, hackers can get access to your computer. This is the same computer we do our taxes on, and tax scams target you year-round, not just in April.
Anyway, my head is still spinning, but after doing a little research, we confirmed that the, "UPS Label Delivery" spam emails are a favorite of hackers, and among the most popular right now.
7 top spear fishing emails to look for
Here are more "spear phishing" emails to look out for and warn your kids about:
- Security Alert - Mimics an email from a popular online store or social media site, asking for your login
- Breaking News Video - Clickbait that fools you into clicking to see a video; often for a recent news story
- Update Your Healthcare Info - No, please don't ever do that from an email!
- Password Check Required - Once again, this can mimic a social media site like Facebook, or even your bank!
- Dating Site Emails - Popular dating scams might offer a fake free trial to match.com
- Delivery Attempt Made - As if there was an attempted delivery for that package you are waiting for
- Unusual Sign-In Activity - This catches you off guard, as it looks like a notification that someone is trying to get into your account. Well, they are!
Anyway, please stay vigilant whenever opening an email, (especially on your phone!) and tell your kids about these spear-fishing scams!
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