Last updateFri, 29 Apr 2016 3pm

Never, never, never click on links in emails, especially from people you trust

It is rare for more than a few days to go by without my receiving a call from a friend, client, or a reader asking about some strange email they have received.  Almost every time someone asks me what they should do, my answer is to inquire “Does your computer not have a [Delete] key?”

Invariably these dubious emails come from cyber-crooks who are fishing for anyone dumb enough to click on a link in their email.  The practice is called “phishing” for marks.  Online cyber-crime is a growth industry; witness the fact that there is now at least one group of good guys dedicated to trying to keep track of all the different online email scams.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) sort of keeps track of this.  Their web site antiphishing.org makes interesting reading if you want to keep up with all the latest scams, which because there are so many I will never try to do.  The data collected by APWG seems to indicate that in a six-month period during 2014 that there were at least 123,972 unique phishing campaigns identified.  That is fewer than a thousand a day, but still too many for me to keep up with.

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