Friday, September 19, 2008

Market Woes and Email Scams

With the stock market taking it's hits from the economic reactions everyone is having, surreptitious scammers and spammers are going to come out of the woodwork.

I just received my first email from TD Ameritrade, saying something to the affect that there might have been errors in my account due to the highly volatile nature of the market in the last week, and I should click on the link provided to verify any errors to my account.

"you are requested to follow the provided steps and confirm your Online
account details for the safety of your Online Accounts"


Now HAD I actually been duped into clicking on the link, I would have seen a website that looks very much like Ameritrade, and if I were doubly duped, I might have even signed in via THAT website, giving out fairly important access information.

Don't worry, I didn't do that.

First off, I don't have an account at TD Ameritrade, so this was a no brainer.

But if I did have an account with them,
  • I still would not have accessed my account via the email.
  • I would have closed the email, opened up a different / new web browser (That's a bit important) and gone to the website, as I always do.
  • Then when I logged in, I probably would have seen that I have messages awaiting me in the sites system, much like my other banking websites handle communication.

Plus, Nobody
  • asks you for anything via email for one,
  • the English is much better in the real deal, and
  • my name is not "dear customer", or "sir or madam".
If you have any other curiosities, you can go to TD Ameritrade's Security Center and check out their advice and other tidbits. It's pretty good. I just can't find a "Report Phishing" email address anywhere! Most organizations have one and I tend to be rather diligent in that part of this process.

Here's TD Ameritrades recommendations for spotting this kind of phishing scenario: HERE

So take heed and be careful folks. I don't want to hear about any of my readers running into troubles!!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah it's always a good idea to navigate directly to sensitive sites (Paypal, Sharebuilder, your bank, etc) yourself as opposed to follow links in random emails. That way you always know right where you're going. Though if you really feel the need to click random links, at least check the address bar to see what webpage you're actually on!

    ReplyDelete

Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce