JMG Web Designs
Faye Combs- Web Designer
477 Saddle Drive
Nashville, Tennessee 37221

Let's Take a Bite out of Crime
Fighting "Phishers"

I recently got an email from someone I thought was my brother.  Because it didn't seem like something he would send, I checked the Properties of the email, and sure enough, it wasn't from my brother.

I thought I would share some information with you.  You may or may not know how to report someone who sends out fraudulent emails or how to recognize them.  If not, that's what this newsletter is about.  Please don't just delete the fraudulent emails - it's important to report them with the appropriate information so that the sender can be nailed.

You may or may not have heard the term "phishing."  It sounds exactly like "fishing."  It's the computer user's illegal way of impersonating a bank, or a large company to secure personal information from you by sending you an email telling you any number of bad things will happen if you don't give them the info.  They might even impersonate your cable company and say your service will be discontinued if you don't reply.  That has happened to me.

Here's what to do if you get an email asking for personal information:

First of all, if you get an email with a familiar name on it, but you aren't sure about it, open the email, go up to the top and click on File, then click on Properties.  That will give you the actual email of the sending party.

If you ever get anything in email saying they are from a bank, or some other business with whom you deal, don't answer it.  Again, open up the email, click on File, then clik on Properties, then click on Details.  What you will see displayed when you do that is the "header" information.  That's the information that all the companies want when someone impersonates them and sends out emails trying to get their customers' personal information.

After you open up the Details tab, place your cursor inside the box where the header information appears, right click, and then click on Select All. After all the header info is selected, right click again and click on Copy.  You now have all the information the company the phisher is impersonating needs. 

If you go directly to that company's site and click on Contact us, or Security - whatever is available - you can send them a message telling them you think you got a fraudulent email that said it was from them.  Then say, "Here is the header information from the "fraudulent" email I received.  You will then press your Ctrl key and your V keys on your keyboard simultaneously.  That will paste the header information that you copied from the fraudulent email into your new email that will go to the company whom they are impersonating.  Send it to them - that gives the real company a direct pathway to the person who is impersonating them and might help snag one of these thieves.  This is a very important thing to know how to do because there is no telling how many people have given all the information needed for identity theft to people who are sending out fraudulent emails (called "phishing.").

You can save yourselves and others a lot of grief by being diligent about reporting "phishing." Just remember this very vital piece of information – real companies DO NOT send out emails requesting personal information, i.e., your credit card number, social security number, etc., because they are all too aware of the problem of “phishing.” If you need to contact a company with which you deal, go directly to their site and find their Contact page. Either email from their official site or call them on the telephone. Never respond by clicking a link in an email and giving personal information. 

Faye Combs

Nashville, Tennessee - Telephone - (615) 662-1744 - Email