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Scams and fraud

Clever scam I fell for, but no harm done.

(33 Posts)
M0nica Sun 14-Aug-22 08:10:05

We are away on holiday with family at the moment and as a result, of them arriving chez UK, day travelling to France, arrival day shake down etc, I hadn't looked at my email for about three days.

When I downloaded my email, there were 40 or 50 so I was deleting/quick replying at speed.

There was an email from a colleague in an organisation I am involved with. The email content started 'M0nica' and ended 'Andrew'. So read as a personal email. The text was brief and not quite his style, about being in a meeting and needing some info, I just sent a quick reply saying 'Away until next Thursday' and thought no more of it.

A day later, when I checked my email again, there was a mail returned message saying that this email address could not be found. I then went back and looked at the email again and realised that the bracketed email address was not my friend's but some unknown address. but, thankfully, because of my gap in checking my emails, it was 2 days old when I replied. Whoever was doing the scam, kept each return email box active for only a short time to stop being traced and by the time I replied, it had been shut down. A very lucky escape. Presumably if I had checked earlier I would have ended importing a virus.

I would normally have looked at this email a bit more carefully because the content was a bit odd, but it had both mine and my friend's name in the text and I was in a rush and had lots of emails to deal with, including some which did need a thought through reply, and it just got a quick answer and a click on 'send'

So be careful if you get odd emails from friends and yours and their names are in the text. This is no guarantee that they are ganuine, so check.

PollyDolly Sun 14-Aug-22 08:19:11

Looks like the delay in you opening the original email was a 'happy accident' and I am pleased you didn't get scammed.

These people will stop at nothing will they? Everyday I get emails in my Junk Mail from all manner os fictitious enterprises, I have countless iPhones waiting delivery, several parcels waiting customs clearance, even an Argos consignment requiring a payment of $5, yes DOLLARS! Really?

Vigilance is key.

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 14-Aug-22 08:40:53

What worries me is that so many Spam/junk emails aren’t going into my Spam folder, they are coming through into my normal email.
I’ve tried blocking them but they just change their email address.
I have several packages awaiting collection, prizes that I’ve won and money waiting for me all in Dollars and in the USA.

PollyDolly Sun 14-Aug-22 10:35:59

Oh, Oopsadaisy, you and I could be rich beyond our wildest dreams! lol

henetha Sun 14-Aug-22 10:39:33

That's a helpful warning, MOnica. At the moment it's all about undelivered parcels etc. I'm being inundated by them.
Every day!

Lathyrus Sun 14-Aug-22 10:59:11

Help me out here MOnica. Not tech savvy😳

Would it have been opening the email that would have been enough to infect your computer. Or the act of sending the info?

Because I’m involved with a couple of projects I get emails from people I don’t really know but are on the contact list.

You’re story’s quite alarmed me.

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 14-Aug-22 11:06:22

pollydolly not only rich, I also have many electric appliances and power tools just waiting for me in the States, all I have to do is give them my details ‘for security purposes’.

We could be Rich and ready to start up our own self employed Businesses using ‘free’ Power tools.

Why are we so very cynical?

MaizieD Sun 14-Aug-22 11:15:17

Would it have been opening the email that would have been enough to infect your computer. Or the act of sending the info?

I don't think so. Either of those things would just tell the spammer'scammer that your email was live'.

I 'think' (though technology might have raced far ahead of my knowledge) that to down load a virus you would have to click on any link given in the email. It needs to insert itself by way of a little installation exe. programme which would need to be downloaded via the link.

Never click on links in emails you don't trust...

Happygirl79 Sun 14-Aug-22 11:18:30

I always think its so sad that some people who are certainly intelligent use their knowledge for scamming people rather than in a legitimate organisation where they could be paid a wage

M0nica Sun 14-Aug-22 11:24:42

Lathyrus The answer is I am not sure. I didn't click and open the email, just read it in the preview panel and then pressed reply

But I was caught because the email seemed to come from a very regular contact and had his and my names In the text. Normally, it is just the email address that is misleading.

Anyway, my computer is still working normally with no problems, so, as someone says, by happy incident I escaped.

It is possible, had I been less rushed I would have looked at it further because the text was not quite my friends style, but the content, by chance was not unlikely.

Auntieflo Sun 14-Aug-22 12:07:06

Just as I was about to go to sleep ladt night, my phone alerted me to a text message.
It said that my Apple Pay Wallet was temporarily being suspended?
I do not and never have had such a thing. So I deleted the message.
If I had clicked on the link I suppose it could have been another Spam going around?

Lathyrus Sun 14-Aug-22 12:14:29

Oh I don’t have a preview panel. Just the name and a couple of first words and then dots.

I know not to click on links and am very wary, but I think that would get past me because a number of emails are just names and info from the projects Im on.

Blossoming Sun 14-Aug-22 12:19:22

Lathyrus good question. It is possible to create a program that will auto run after a particular command (such as opening a message) is executed. However, most of our devices will have guards in place to prevent this. Like MOnica I don’t open suspect mails, I read them in the preview pane. Any emails with my name in the subject line or the text automatically go into a separate folder so that I can check them out. That also helps to weed out annoying marketing mails.

Lathyrus Sun 14-Aug-22 12:49:32

I’ve got “protection” Oh installed it. I’ll have to ask him about preview panels.

I ought to pay more attention, I know. But yesterday he was trying to explain how to install an app that would enable me to order books from the Library and I felt my attention slither off to whether I should wax my new hairstyle or not……….

Blossoming Sun 14-Aug-22 12:55:54

Easily done Lathyrus grin

I was a software developer for many years, retired a couple of years ago, Old habits die hard!

M0nica Sun 14-Aug-22 15:12:08

I weas nearly caught because it is the first time I have had my name and the purported senders first names in the text, plus I was in a hurry, zipping through a backlog of emails and trying to deal with them in a hurry.

Under normal circumstances where I would be reading each email more slowly and would have looked at the text, thought it was slightly odd and done some checks, I probabaly wouldn't have been caught, but this is the problem , we all have times and circumstances whenwe are less alert than usual = and this is what happened in this case.

Whether the harm would have happene if I had opened the email, i do not know. I nearly always deal with email directly from the preview panel. I only open an email up if it is a long and complex one. I even open attachments from the preview panel.

Grantanow Tue 16-Aug-22 11:26:48

I always forward scam emails to [email protected] which is where GCHQ attempt to track them down and neutralise them.

icanhandthemback Tue 16-Aug-22 11:48:16

A couple of weeks ago I got a message from my son on Messenger saying he had broken his phone and hadn't set up WhatsApp on his old phone so could I message him through Messenger. No problem as he talked about his son. A couple of days later I got a message on WhatsApp saying he was back up on WhatsApp so we could return to messaging there so that was no problem either.
About a week later I got a message on WhatsApp saying, "Mum, my phone was playing up so I got a new one, please can you use this number."
I just happened to be sitting in the local car dealership so I remarked to my husband that you'd think as we have 4 sons, X would have told me which one it was when he had a new number. Fortunately, before I answered the message, the car salesman said, "Don't answer, that's a scam." Sure enough when I checked it wasn't my son at all.
But for the Car Salesman, I would have been caught!

nipsmum Tue 16-Aug-22 12:13:25

Not only spam emails , please be aware of phone calls too. I have had several recently about money being withdrawn from my bank account. I just put the phone down on them.

Annaram1 Tue 16-Aug-22 12:17:47

A friend of a friend has fallen for a romance scam. He is 60 and tried on line dating. He has never been in a relationship. Someone contacted him and in no time he began sending this "French woman" money in dribs and drabs of £5- £10000. Always a sad story. To date he has sent £80000. He will not listen to reason and is convinced this woman is in love with him and one day they will get married. Even sold his house to fund his obsession. The bank blocked his account so he moved to another bank.
All his friends have tried reasoning with him but he just wont listen. So this story is not a no harm done one.

123kitty Tue 16-Aug-22 13:35:17

Report Scam emails to: [email protected] and Forward scam texts to: 7726 (it's free)

rowyn Tue 16-Aug-22 13:45:33

I almost never get dodgy email messages and am feeling left out!!
Either they've sussed out that my income is limited, or are deterred by my habit of being very wary regarding giving my personal details , or my (mostly) free antivirusware is doing an excellent job!

welbeck Tue 16-Aug-22 14:10:07

the next step would be to ask you to purchase some gift tokens for him, as he had told his boss he had already done it, and they were needed urgent tonight for presentation at the PR event/fundraising dinner.

Tuskanini Tue 16-Aug-22 14:34:57

Be vigilant, but try not to be paranoid! Simply replying to a fake email isn't going to give you a 'virus'. What it MIGHT do is tell someone spamming random addresses that they've found a 'live one' who could be worth pursuing.

The threat from email scams is mainly social rather than technical. It's the plausible story that persuades you to send money or reveal your passwords.

kevincharley Tue 16-Aug-22 14:54:39

A former colleague cost the company we worked for around £40k due to not checking emails properly.
I'm so suspicious I don't believe the genuine ones!