A new e-mail scam

Yet another e-mail-based scam, reminding us of the importance of always be skeptical about e-mail messages, and not to judge them based on the from address.

I get more than my share of unwanted e-mail messages of all types, but a new (to me at least) scam appeared in my in-box today. The subject was "New User Letter" and the message appears below with the ID numbers changed as a precaution.

Welcome Member,

We are glad you joined CoolPics.

User Number: 5134626785
Temp Login ID: user2450
Temorary Password: ga872

Be Secure. Change your Login ID and Password.

Follow this Link: http://76.220.224.169/

Enjoy,
New Member Technical Support
CoolPics

By the time I looked into it, the IP address seemed to have been taken out of service--it was unreachable both with a browser and the ping command.

One reason to lookout for this sort of thing is that the Web page it sends you to might try to install malicious software on your computer. My recent blog trilogy on DropMyRights is one way to defend against this type of attack. See "DropMyRights" Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 .

My personal Web site has more "Examples of Bad E-mail Messages". The important lesson is to always be skeptical about e-mail messages, and, not to judge them based on the from address. It is very easy to forge the from address in an e-mail message.

About the author

    Michael Horowitz wrote his first computer program in 1973 and has been a computer nerd ever since. He spent more than 20 years working in an IBM mainframe (MVS) environment. He has worked in the research and development group of a large Wall Street financial company, and has been a technical writer for a mainframe software company.

    He teaches a large range of self-developed classes, the underlying theme being Defensive Computing. Michael is an independent computer consultant, working with small businesses and the self-employed. He can be heard weekly on The Personal Computer Show on WBAI.

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