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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fake Amazon Spam E-mails

They've done it again, guys! If you have been reading my blog or read my post on the fake YouTube e-mails, this one is very similar except gets trickier. The problem with me sharing this information is that:
-some of the scammers begin to understand how it is that we figure out that their scams are actually scams and not legit
-after a while, these "methods" become outdated...usually very quickly

Like the YouTube ones, this one looks very legit. Complete with an e-mail address or the e-mail address that Amazon would use to contact you with.


*Click the image if you would like a clearer view. Right-click on image to view in a separate window or separate tab if you'd like to keep this window open.*

As you can see, this is what the e-mail looked like. I bleeped out private areas of my computer with the black boxes.

If you look for the red arrow pointing to the red underlined link saying "www.Amazon.com", this is the link that I hovered over. Look at the red circle. When I moved my mouse cursor/pointer over the "www.amazon.com" link, that link in the bottom left hand corner is the link that it would've taken me to. If this was a legit e-mail, it would have told you that it was going to take you to Amazon's website. Check that link very closely because I imagine in the future, someone will have a link very similar except it will look like "www.amzon.com". See how similar that looks? Look very closely at that word, the "a" is missing, but you may have overlooked that.

Hovering over the other red underlined link also points to this URL shown in the bottom left hand corner.

I made the mistake of clicking the link prematurely and was redirected to a different website than Amazon's. My computer's anti-virus program popped up a message saying that a Trojan virus was found and detected coming from this website and had successfully blocked the virus from getting any further. Let me be proof to NEVER EVER click the links in e-mails like this.

It is best to not use the links provided in e-mails to get to the desired website, instead, head over to Amazon's website by manually typing it into your address bar (the place to put the "www.whatever.com" at) and check your account there or contact the company from there.

Sometimes these links can actually point you to a fake looking website, such as this one pointing me to Amazon, it could have pointed me to a website that looked just like Amazon. If this happens and it asks you to log in, DO NOT log in. First, check the URL of the page very closely. (The URL is the "www.thingy.com" in your browser usually at the top). Check this very closely to make sure that it doesn't say something like "www.amzon.com". Also, check to see whether there is a "https" or an "http" before this "www.amzon.com".

"https" is reserved for domains to ensure security that cookies and the like cannot see what you are typing into the fields which could help them steal information about you. Only registered and official websites can get "https" URLs, as is my understanding. However, there may be ways around this, so don't assume that the site is legit just because it has an "https". Also, some websites may not even use an "https" at all. Some websites don't use "https" but "http", so that doesn't automatically discount them from not being legit either.

Telling your mail client (Yahoo Mail, Gmail, AOL Mail, Hotmail, etc.) will not stop these. These e-mails are coming from a legit e-mail from Amazon, by blocking these e-mails, you are blocking Amazon from contacting you. If you don't use Amazon or don't ever plan to contact them, you can always block them which will block some of these e-mails.

As you get more and more of these like I have, you begin to learn more on your own about how these scams are done and how to better protect yourself. If something does happen, do learn from your mistakes and what has followed. That is the best thing to do in any situation especially when being scammed.

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