Halt! Who goes there? Friend or Fraud?

It seems like by now people would be able to spot fraudulent e-mails that attempt to get your passwords and other sensitive information by luring you into clicking on an embedded link. After about the 400th message telling you that your account with “Big Bank” will be cut off if you don’t give them confirmation of your account number and password, you ought to get suspicious–especially if you’ve never had an account at “Big Bank”!

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Apparently, nearly a third of everyone who takes the MailFrontier Phishing IQ Test can’t spot the frauds. Can you?

I got all 10 correct, but it’s pretty easy if you assume that most companies sending you a request for information will not try the “your account will be canceled” tactic and that you should always be suspicious of hyperlinks.

[ via MonkeyFilter ]

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7 Responses to Halt! Who goes there? Friend or Fraud?

  1. Mike says:

    I only got 7 correct, sadly enough. I’m the one always warning my family and coworkers about these things too. Oops.

  2. michele says:

    I got a ten.

    The rule of thumb here is: If they address you by your full name that your registered on the site with, it’s legit. If it’s generic (dear paypal user), it’s a fraud.

    Also, hover over links and see the URL they go to. You can usually spot a fraud that way.

  3. Somewhat says:

    eBay or your bank will never address you as “valued customer”! If the fraudsters start addressing emails “Dear Slimebucket”, I might be a bit more convinced 😉

  4. Somewhat says:

    …but on a serious note, Michele’s right about the generic address, but a lot of the scam emails at the moment have refined things so that they say “Dear whoever@wherever”, i.e. the same email address they’ve sent it to. This *does* make it look a little bit more convincing. So NEVER click the links or buttons in an email; ALWAYS log in to the relevent site in a fresh browser window and check from there.

  5. jadedju says:

    I thought one of them was a fraud, and it was legit. I”m proud to say that I trust exactly no one. However, now I’m worried about some Verisign thingy I did like two years ago. Oy.

  6. robyn says:

    But if’in it’s on the internet, isn’t it s’posed to be true?

  7. John says:

    10 of 10 here too, but I was somewhat hampered by not being able to hover over hyperlinks and see where links were pointing me.

    Another dead giveaway is frequent clumsy phrasing like “take a few minutes out of your online experience” and odd spacing around commas , periods , and , other punctuation errors

    Since a lot of these are done by non-native speakers, I get a lot of bogus email with idiomatic strangeness in.

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