Just about everyone has heard of “phishing,” the emails that are supposedly from a trusted website or business that are actually from criminals and scammers.
As you know, all scams that succeed do so because they play on the essential human desire to get ahead, get something for nothing, or to gain an advantage over one’s competition. So, on Saturday last, I received an email that looked like it came from Craigslist, and since I have ads on Craigslist I read the email instead of dismissing it.
But because the email promised a reasonable product (free premium ad placement on Craigslist) and because the email did not have any spelling errors or funny grammar, I clicked on the link provided, exactly like I should not have.
This shows how sophisticated some phishing can be, even when the when the message is simple.
This also shows how easy it is to fall victim to scams, even when you know what is going on.
If you are reading this, you may be wondering what the outcome of my encounter with this phishing email was. That outcome was nothing.
I clicked on the link, just like I shouldnt have, and Firefox opened up a new tab and instead of loading the scammers page, Firefox gave me a bright red page with a policeman holding a stop sign next to a warning that said “This page is known to be fraudulent, do you wish to continue?”
This warning stopped me in my tracks and made me go back to the email and examine it more closely. When I did, I saw the obvious markings of a phishing email.
This is why I use Firefox, and why you should too.