|This is NOT my painting. Image of Owls Head Light Station in Owls Head, Maine, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I received an e-mail first thing this morning.
Michael Silverberg [email@example.com]
Monday 6/4/2012 1:16 AM
Good day to you over there, My name is Micheal Silverberg I’m from phoenix and my eyes caught this particular work(Owls Head Light), i will like to have it for my new apartment this month.please let me know if the piece is available, if yes let me have the detailed price and more information about it. i will be waiting to read from you.Regards.
I’ve sold artwork over the Internet before, but this didn’t seem okay.
Michael has a problem in spelling his name correctly more than once. So, which is it Mike?
Grammar is not very good either. Salutation? A bit strange.
So I do what I always do. Contemplate, then act—what can I find out about Michael Silverberg at firstname.lastname@example.org?
Any search engine will do. I got lots of information about Michael who has an alias was well.
Kathleen McMahon, artist, http://www.kathleenmcmahon.com/info/scammer-names.html has done a terrific job as an Anti-Scam Samurai. Visit her website and check out the long list of names scammers use. This is only a partial list.
If you get an e-mail and it doesn’t seem right, go with your intuition and do some research. It will pay off.
As a former computer science teacher, I developed an Internet Safety curriculum where I taught my students to question what they saw and read on the Internet. Compare what is said on one site with another. Check your sources. What is their motive? Are there lots of spelling and grammar errors. If it sounds too good to be true? Then it usually is.
Go to http://www.artistsnetwork.com/articles/business-of-art/scam-letter.
So how do you protect yourself and report those nasty scammers?
Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber-fraud as seen on http://www.fbi.gov/
- Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.
- Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
- Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Scan the attachments for viruses if possible.
- Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.
- Always compare the link in the e-mail with the link to which you are directed and determine if they match and will lead you to a legitimate site.
- Log directly onto the official website for the business identified in the e-mail, instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited e-mail. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.
- Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify if the e-mail is genuine.
- If you are asked to act quickly, or there is an emergency, it may be a scam. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly.
- Verify any requests for personal information from any business or financial institution by contacting them using the main contact information.
- Remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
To receive the latest information about cyber-scams, sign up for e-mail alerts on this website. If you have received a scam e-mail, please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov
Check this: http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/reporting_to_ISPs.php :
How to Report a Spam, Scams and Abusive Use of Email Accounts and Hosted Websites
If you have received spams and scams that are coming from a Yahoo, Hotmail
, AIM, Excite, Gmail or other public or free email account
, you can report it to the provider to have them shut that account down. Here are the addresses -just forward the email to the appropriate address with the subject “Abusive use of account”:
Be on the lookout at all times. Protect yourself, your family and friends.
Hope this helps. Leave a comment.
PS:I’m back with an update. I forwarded the e-mail to GMail’s link (as seen above) at 12:04 AM and got a robotic response at 12:05 AM.
GMail provided me with a choice of forms to fill out. It was neat, quick and easy.
You will need the message header so they can track them down.
- GMail has instructions on how to find the header.
- In Microsoft Outlook, I found the header when I opened the message and clicked on View/Options and the Internet Header was there.
- Click within the header report in that window
- Press CTRL + A to select all
- Press CTRL + C to copy and close the window.
- Click in the form where the Message Header is needed
- Press CTRL + V to paste what you copied from Microsoft Outlook.
So DON’t delete the scammer’s e-mail until you have reported the villain to the proper reporting bureau.
That is crucial if you want the scammer gone.
Click on the ‘comment’ link below. Share your experience with scam e-mail.