Computing Columnist: On the "naughty" list
All sorts of nasty stuff going on this week!
First, I got a phishing attempt on my Yahoo account. Basically, I was notified via a text message that my Yahoo password had been changed, and to click on a link for more info. Something told me not to click the link. Instead, I went to my Yahoo account and tried to log in, and was indeed locked out using my old password.
I notified Yahoo that my account had been compromised, and I reset the password using Gmail. I then got an email - at my Yahoo account - that my password had been reset. I went looking for such an email on the previous, spurious reset, and couldn't find one!
I am not sure what the game was, and I wasn't able to turn up anything on a search for that type of activity. Still, I feel better knowing that my password is my own once again.
Next, I got another infamous Nigerian scam letter! It's hard to believe they're still trying that old chestnut, but the only thing I can tell you is the new fillip is a photo added to the letter! This time, it's a female Minister of Minerals who has to hide a considerable inheritance and desperately needs me to bank the money for her! As an added twist - and this is an interesting piece of social engineering I am seeing in other, more legitimate come-ons - the email subject line was something to the effect that "this is my second and last attempt to reach you." Whether we like it or not, that kind of thing makes us feel a sense of urgency, and we're more likely to at the very least read the email, if not follow up on it. (I recently got a similar subject line from a marketer whose graphics I occasionally buy... it's sort of a multi-level marketing game at its worst, but a not-bad and easy to use graphic program at its best.)
Finally, and this is one you're going to want to watch out for - another Craigslist game. Well, actually, a couple more. First, a friend in the real estate business reported that a house she was showing - which was vacant - had been listed as "For Rent" on Craigslist. It was not. Renters were invited to stop by, "peek in the windows," look around, and if interested, send a deposit to the "renter." Who was, foolishly, "doing business offshore in Ohio." (That would be funny if it weren't so evil!) Because her agency's sign was on the property, renters actually called her to inquire about renting the property! At least they didn't send a check.
Another nasty game on Craigslist: you list an item for sale. The "buyer" (from another country) just has to have it, and sends you a check for ten times that amount, asking you to deposit it, keep the amount of the item, and "return the change." The excuse, if one is made, is something about American dollars. Sure.
Just keep your mind on what you're doing, even at this busy time of the year when we're all distracted and don't want to be bothered. Crooks are counting on it!