Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday Free For All: Phishing
So the other day I get an IM on Facebook. It's from someone in the publishing industry who has worked for some BIG publishers.
This person said they were on vacation in UK and were mugged at gunpoint and needed to pay their hotel bill and get a flight home. They ask me to wire $900. I immediately said no, because um, I don't HAVE $900 to begin with. They said any amount would help. I asked if there was someone I could call or can the US embassy help. They changed the subject and I got distracted. That's just me. Oh look a shiny thing!!
Okay, I look at the profile page, google the person, everything looks legit (and selfishly I'm wondering how my helping this person could help me get published. Come on! I'm only human). My soft heart is thinking she really needs my help. But my head knows better.
I tell my husband. I know he'll stop me from doing anything stupid and of course he immediately tells me I'm crazy for believing it for even a second (yes I know he's right, but I'm a gullible softy. I can't help it) He says they probably got phished. And I know all about phishing. Not to this extent, but once a while back I clicked on a link, which immediately sent this link to most of my Facebook friends and screwed up my computer by putting a Trojan virus in it. sigh. Not a good day for Megan.
Luckily, this person's phone number was right on their profile page. I do a reverse look up, to make sure it is who it's supposed to be, and call the number. The person answered (and I was thrilled that they knew who I was by name alone) and told me it's already been reported. Their account got hacked and they can't even access it anymore.
I immediately contacted all our mutual friends to warn them.
The phisher sent me another IM later and asked if I'd wired the money. I told them no, good luck with your scam, and they called ME a fool. Silly phisher.
Here's the deal. Be smart on the computer. Don't trust anyone you don't know personally. Don't click on links that look even the slightest bit funky. And never never never send people money.
Bad things can happen on the computer. Believe me.
Song of the Week: Fireflies by Owl City
Movie of the Week: Identity
Book of the Week: Bloodroot by Bill Loehfelm (yes, I'm a slow reader. I squeeze it in where I can which is between writing, revising, cleaning, videos, children, husband, and soccer, but watch for my review on it soon)
Quote of the Week: "Evil is a point of view." ~ From Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire
My Dad. He's awesome.
John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney