Archive for 'Security'

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The internet has drawbacks and well as benefits. One benefit is that more people are learning to identify an email scam.

There has been a glut of hackings in the last 2 weeks. A server or servers must have been compromised. Google has a great forum that discusses this. You can learn a lot or do some vending there.

This is the email that went out from my account.


How you doing? We made a trip to London (United Kingdom) unannounced some days back,Unfortunately we got mugged at gun point last night! All cash, Credit card and phone were stolen, we got messed up in another country, stranded in London, fortunately passport was back in my hotel room. It was a bitter experience and i was hurt on my right hand, but would be fine. I am sending you this message because i don’t want anyone to panic, we want you to keep it that way for now!

Our return flight leaves in a few hours but I’m having troubles sorting out the hotel bills, wondering if you could loan me some money to sort out the hotel bills and also take a cab to the airport about ($2000). I have been to the police and embassy here, but they aren’t helping issues, I have limited means of getting out of here,  we canceled our cards already and made a police report, I won’t get a new card number till I get back home! So I really need your help.

You could wire whatever you can spare to my name and hotel address via Western union:

My name
272, Coriander Avenue, Docklands, E14 2AA ,
London United Kingdom

Get back to me with the details, would def refund it to you once we arrive! Hopefully tomorrow

I await your prompt response.


Lets look at some of the things that might set off warning signs for you. › Continue reading…

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How Can You Avoid An Email Scam?

An example of a phishing e-mail, disguised as ...
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The scam email that was sent from my account has been around for a few years. It is called the Emergency in London Scam (at least in some circles).

Still, I was surprised at how many of my dear friends were taken in. (I really appreciate your concern.) I hope no one send the scammer any money. If you did, please contact Western Union and file a fraud report. Since that address has been used for many of these scams, I hope Western Union has blocked it. I know in some cases they refuse to send money to Nigeria.

Scams are different from phishing mails. A phishing email is one that looks as if it was sent from your bank, credit card company, or PayPal. These say that you need to confirm your information. They ask you to send a reply to the email with your account and password information. Sometimes they include more information, such as your social security number and/or birthdate. NEVER reply to these emails!

Always look at the line at the bottom of your browser to see where the email is really going. It may have an address that is close to the supposed sender, but the domain name will be different.

(%%%Domain name%%% is the part right before the .com part).

It’s a good practice to type the names of your financial websites into your browser manually. In fact, most financial institutions will tell you to do so. Anyone can take a logo from the web and use it for their own purposes. Em

Try to contact the person who supposedly sent the email. Most of my friends who thought it was real were ones who I talked with in awhile. They didn’t know my schedule and thought that I might be in London.

Yes, I know some people have online calendars to tell the world where they will be. This is risky for other reasons. Thieves love to know when you aren’t home.

My husband doesn’t usually travel with me, so even when I’m gone, he’s usually home. (Did I mention he is well armed?) In fact, one friend knew that he wouldn’t go to London, so she immediately spotted the scam.

Once again thanks for all the phone calls and email to my other accounts. I appreciate it very much.

I also appreciate Jason Dinner trying to get the guy’s PayPal address. That would help track him down.

I’m surprised that none of the companies involve seem to want what information is available on the scumbag.

Frank Ahern, who specializes in finding people and telling people how to disappear sent him an “FU A**hole” message. I appreciate that too. Maybe I should give the information to Frank.

A  large chunk of my email messages were deleted. If you sent me something and don’t hear back, please resend it or leave a comment on the blog. You can reach me at a more secure email address that is listed on my “About” page. (Just remembered I needed to change it.)

I will probably post a couple of more message about this incident (seems too mild a word), and then we will get back to the regular writing content.

Please leave a comment with any tips, ideas, or suggestions about how to stay secure on the net. Also, ask any questions you might have.

Write on,


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How Secure Are You Online?

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The hacker saga continues…

Google returned my account to me Tuesday afternoon. A lot of the email messages were missing. If I missed an email from you, please resend it.

My drafts were gone. I used these to hold some forms that I send often. Fortunately, I had some copies in my sent mail.

I did lose links to my blog posts and to posts of others that I was saving. In the future I will email them to another of my accounts.

Strangely enough, I wasn’t receiving any new emails. This is very unusual, since I’m on everyone’s mailing list and receive hundreds of messages per day. This may be a good thing, since I had so many messages in my inbox and in “all mail”, that it would be hard for anyone to find anything useful for other evil activities.

After checking in my settings, I found that everything was being directed into the trash. I looked through the filters and found that my mail was being forwarded to another account. Of course, that would be where all password reset notices would be sent.

The account was almost like mine, except it used ymail instead of gmail. You would need to pay close attention to see the difference if you received an email from that account.

I think what led to this is the number of membership sites that have sprung up. (Yes, I’m developing some myself.) Most of these (the good ones) are using WordPress. Yes, just like this blog.

These member sites send an email to the new users with the username and password. If you use the same password on these accounts as you do on your “important” accounts, they can be intercepted or hacked from the servers.

If you use the same password, it only takes one security breach to compromise all your accounts, even if you have a “secure” password.

So, here are a few more lessons learned…

› Continue reading…

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