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Thread: Online banking scam warning

  1. #1
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    Default Online banking scam warning

    It can't do any harm to bring this to everyone's attention, even though I am probably preaching to the converted; and it might just do some good.

    Yesterday, I received an email which purported to be from Barclays Bank, informing me that my mobile banking service had been flagged in their "automotive (sic) security systems" and that restrictions had been placed on the account to guarantee its security. In order to lift the restrictions and regain access to my account, I was asked to click on a 'verification link'.

    Although the email looked very genuine, the language in it was not quite right: malapropisms - "automotive" instead of automated; non-English sentence structure - "this is must to do..."; typographical errors - "...to secureinformation..."

    Needless to say, I didn't click on the link. I phoned the bank first thing this morning, who asked me to forward the email to them and then delete it from my inbox.

    Although it didn't take too long for the penny to drop that it was a scam when I first read the email in the early hours of this morning, there was a short time when I thought to myself, "Oh no! What's happened? I'd better click on the link and sort it out!" I'm glad I didn't!
    Juvanile delinkwit, vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers. Du skal ikke tro at du er bedre end mig!

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    Thanks for the pointer. I'm always amazed why the presumably non English speaking folks running these scams don't just run it by someone who does speak English before launching, so they don't give their game away so easily by making such daft grammar/typo errors. We've had a run of attempted 'Barclays' scams recently, even though we don't bank with them.
    Thanks again,
    Paul.
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    The best way to ensure you don't get caught out with these is to have a separate e-mail address which is only known to your bank and which you do not use for any other purpose.

    There are plenty of free e-mail providers, Gmail, Hotmail/Live/Outlook, and even iCloud for the fashion conscious...

    Set one up with a suitably abstract name that is unlikely to be randomly guessed by a scammer, with a reasonably strong password and, this is the critical bit, only use that address for your bank so it can only be harvested if; a) The bank gets compromised or b) Your own security is compromised.

    This covers two bases... you can now safely ignore ALL banking related messages to your main e-mail address as it's no longer the one your genuine bank will use. You get early warning of either your own data security being compromised (e.g. an infection on your home computer allowing the e-mail address to be harvested) or the bank's security/data protection policy not being all its cracked up to be (i.e they lose/sell your e-mail address)

    Cheers!

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    The golden rule is only to contact your bank by logging on to their site by typing the address in yourself, never ever do it via a link in an Email.

    If you right click on the email header then click properties and details you can see the return path of these scam emails, it will be some obscure address! Even if it looks genuine still do not trust it always do it direct yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulsmith View Post
    I'm always amazed why the presumably non English speaking folks running these scams don't just run it by someone who does speak English before launching,
    That's because, thankfully, they are not that bright

    Good heads up Mr Hopper, it is always good to remind ourselves to be aware of such sneaky schemes.
    I had a phone call a while back from a non native english speaker claiming to have the compensation funds ready for me for a car accident and could I give him my bank details....
    I asked which accident he was referring too, knowing full well my only claim had been sorted nearly 30 years ago, the line went dead. Guess I ain't getting a windfall then!

    Rob.

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    Really?
    Sometimes I get 5 or 10 such emails a week, I guess I'm just used to spotting and deleting the phishing attempts (which is almost all of them).

    You do need to take a few moments though, more and more scammers are using proper bank logos and graphics to make their phishing mails look more authentic.

    It's not just banks either - if you are self employed be aware that there are a number of phishing scams posing as HMRC, using convincing graphics etc. PAYE employees will spot them right away because they have no reason for HMRC to contact them but if you run a company you will need to think hard before following them up (as noted, never follow the links, either type in a web address you know to be correct or pick up the phone and dial a contact number from a trusted piece of correspondence).

    How hard can it be?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimW View Post
    Really?
    Sometimes I get 5 or 10 such emails a week, I guess I'm just used to spotting and deleting the phishing attempts (which is almost all of them).
    i did say at the beginning that I was probably preaching to the converted, but it was the first such email that I've received.
    Juvanile delinkwit, vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers. Du skal ikke tro at du er bedre end mig!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockhopper View Post
    it was the first such email that I've received.
    Welcome to the real world now they have your email address you can expect a few more.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
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    I warned my mother to always ring people back if they've rung and are asking for details.

    I once caught her asking someone (who was from where they said they were, thankfully) for a phone number she could ring them back on...

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulsmith View Post
    Thanks for the pointer. I'm always amazed why the presumably non English speaking folks running these scams don't just run it by someone who does speak English before launching, so they don't give their game away so easily by making such daft grammar/typo errors.
    Gizza job! I could do that!

    If any potential scammer's out there would like there English runned by some one who can pass for nativespeaker I am your man,for percenatge of the profit's in all seriesness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    Gizza job! I could do that!

    If any potential scammer's out there would like there English runned by some one who can pass for nativespeaker I am your man,for percenatge of the profit's in all seriesness.
    Get them to pay you upfront. I suspect they don't get that much.
    Big Al.

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    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  12. #12

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    I had some thieving swine home in on me yesterday who gave the email address of 'better life ' ' Gmail7 offer me exactly what I wanted in an ad I placed on the wanted section of the forum. (should have read the site advice about placing an email address in an ad) . In any case I was shown photos of what I wanted which he / she claimed to own and was garaged in London only to find after a little browsing / detective work that the photos had come from a live ad in Canada. I bid 'better life' bye with a fate worse than death.


    BEWARE !!!!! These people are out there and their boldness is simply startling! Trust no one and do not be afraid to ask them as many questions as you need to convince yourself that they are genuine or otherwise. If they are genuine they will not be offended.

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    If you get another one, the police have an internet fraud dept. Cant remember its proper title.

    Give them the details so they can go buy the boat.

    It just could be they are stealing boats to order.

  14. #14

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    It's a well established con. They never have the goods, they pick up photos of similar kit from internet sales sites and generally offer it at a real bargain price looking for cash up front. They're probably not even in the same country as the victim or that in which the copied ad is placed. There are indeed those who do steal to order but as I said, the goods that were being 'offered' were on sale in Canada. The scumbag informed me that they were in London. I'm in Scotland. Just another dirty, lying, online fraudster.

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    Just a quick 'heads-up' - although I am aware that I am probably preaching to the converted!

    I received a very genuine-looking email purporting to be from BT today, informing me that my account details needed to be refreshed, or I would risk losing services in the future. The email gave a couple of links I could click on to go to my account to update my card details. There were even contact details provided, should I have any concerns about the email and wished to talk to them!

    I did have concerns, so I rang the real BT (getting the number from one of my bills), who confirmed that it was a phishing exercise. I was amazed at how realistic it looked!
    Juvanile delinkwit, vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers. Du skal ikke tro at du er bedre end mig!

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    I nearly got caught out a few months ago on, what I thought was quite a skilled scam.

    I'd just purchased something on ITunes and a short while later I got a confirmation e-mail from them with a link to what appeared to be their own site. It stated that I had purchased something else for £28 or whatever - which I definitely didn't order. So I went and pressed 'cancel order' and it then said the money had already been deducted and then another plinked me to yet another page which now asked for my bank details in order to get the £28 refunded. The page looked identical to the ITunes purchasing page or whatever, it even appeared to have a genuine itunes/apple web address on my browser bar, but I did notice that one or two buttons/links on the page didn't actually do anything. Alarm bells started to go off in my head and I stopped there.

    I contacted Itunes/apple and was quickly told it was a scam and was asked to send them the original e-mail so they could track it down.
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    On a slightly different scam topic as the deadline for filing tax returns is approaching (31st January 2015) there is often a flurry of emails purporting to come from HMRC which look remarkably genuine with all the right logos etc. and even plausible looking links. They usually say you are getting a refund and want to have your bank details or click on an attachment for details of the refund.

    HMRC do not send emails unless you have previously been in touch with a specific tax office employee dealing with your tax affairs and you have agreed to receive emails.

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    I have lost count of the number of these scams I have received to the point that I sometimes delete genuine mail, but better to be on the safe side. In MS Outlook if you right click on the header line this will bring up a box, then left click on properties, then left click details, this will show the return path, if it is a scam the return address will not be recognizable. Beware that sometimes they only slightly change their address from a genuine one so only take this as a guide. I would never take any link from an email for anything regarding money I always log onto the site direct.

    The latest phone scam is to phone saying they are from your bank and saying there has been fraudulent activity on your account, they ask you to phone your bank on the number taken from the back of your card so you feel confident it is genuine. When you hang up to do this they don't, so when you dial the number they are still on the line with a different voice, you then give them all the info they require. The line only stays live for a short time after you hang up so most of the time the connection is dropped, but they only need to catch a few so they play the numbers game.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
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    I'm with cloudman ... I assume all emails are spam/scams unless I'm certain they aren't ... currently deleting 10+/day ... but then I've more than one email account. It is good as usually I see the scam first on an email address that isn't associated with with any bank etc etc account.
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    Usually from some North European scam operating illegally within the society of this country, very cleaver foreign people here to scam the innocent! Be Aware.

    under no circumstances should you ever part with Bank Accounts or Addresses to anyone your not sure of. stay protected guys!!

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    Regarding the suggestion to ring back to avoid being scammed over the phone... some phone scammers keep the line open when you ring off, they then fake the dialling tone etc. so when you think you're ringing the bank you are simply reconnecting with the scammer.

    Solution is either to ring back from another phone line or mobile or to ring another number first (like your own mobile) to check you have control of your line, then ring the bank.

    I run a small business, we get around 30 or so phishing e-mails each week and at least one scam phone call a week. Most are easy to spot, but the scammers are getting better (they get a lot of practice!) and spending time sifting real from scam costs us. Especially as we could get fined if we fail to spot a real request from HMRC among the fakes.

    The specific e-mail address for your bank, another for Pay-Pal, etc. is a very good idea. We have implemented it and it saves a lot of time identifying scams.

    Have to remember, the scammers only bother because it works. People fall for these, perfectly intelligent people (like us!) Just because we-ve spotted them so far doesn't mean they aren't going to finally fool us one day.

  22. #22

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    I've been getting emails purporting to be from PayPal everything now and then telling my account has been compromised and restricted and to click on a link provided to allow me to provide my updated details. They look so genuine that you could easily be fooled. Fortunately, I logged onto my account first to find there was nothing wrong. You can forward any bogus emails to Paypal via an email address provided in their security pages and they will deal with them. They generally send an acknowledgment if the email was bogus. I'm sure most companies are the same.

    Whatever else you do, DON'T CLICK on any link in an email. It;s sure to end in disaster.

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    I won the UK lottery a couple hundred times already....this week! Not to mention all the money received from a king somewhere in Africa....

    Here we receive kind of 100 scam mails a DAY!!!
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    Just had a very genuine-looking email which purported to be from BT, informing me that my email inbox was full and that I would be able to receive and send no further emails until I revalidated the account by clicking on their link! As if!!!!

    Even though my initial reaction was to accept it, it was quite easily spotted on further inspection through the atrocious grammar - plus the fact that it told me that I had used 99.8 gigabytes of the 1gb I was allocated!
    Juvanile delinkwit, vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers. Du skal ikke tro at du er bedre end mig!

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    There is evidence that these scamming emails are deliberately written in poor English. Anyone who reads one, ignores all the pointers that the email is probably a scam and clicks through the link is much more likely to be gullible. Including the errors filters out people who might cause trouble etc.

    Most big organisations now have a "suspected scam" email address which you can forward such emails to, and they will deal with the spammers. One of the large banks which I have worked with has a target of 2 hours from first receipt of a new spamming email to having shut the perpetrator down.
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    I forwarded the email to phishing@bt.com I was unaware of the deliberate use of poor English! Thanks for that.
    Juvanile delinkwit, vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers. Du skal ikke tro at du er bedre end mig!

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    So was I. Never thought of that!

    I'll adjust my scamming emails accordingly. Thanks!
    Last edited by Crow; 19th-March-2015 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Poor English!

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    i've heard another suggested reason for the bad grammar. It encourages the recipient to believe that the scammers are idiots (they aren't), and may, in their superiority believe that they can take them on (they usually can't).

    Best bet - never click on anything in an email, and don't open attachments from anyone you don't know, or even from those you do, but aren't expecting!

    Enjoy the internet - it's a wonderful invention.

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    latest scam.......refund on your car tax disc
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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    I heard that have a number you phone back and ye they say it, eg Barkley,s tsb bank o Scotland , be aware these people are sly. my mother was just about done when her savings went missing from the bank of Scotland .and we think it was an inside job /

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    It's frequently sneakier than that Bun... they give you the actual number for the bank, which they recommend you check before ringing back.

    But since they telephoned you, if they don't hang up the call when they tell you to re-dial, the original call is never dropped and they're still on the line. Most telephones have a 'pre-dialer' function where you press all the numbers, press the green button and then the phone dials the number - so you never normally hear a dial tone, or the fact that someone else is already on the line before you start dialing.

    Once they hear the dialing tones, they answer as though they've just picked up the phone and the mark (that's you) believes absolutely that they've just made a call to the bank.

    Sly doesn't cover it... they're slyer than a pack of foxes who graduated from Crafty McSharp's Finishing School of Wool Pulling Over.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bun View Post
    I heard that have a number you phone back and ye they say it, eg Barkley,s tsb bank o Scotland , be aware these people are sly. my mother was just about done when her savings went missing from the bank of Scotland .and we think it was an inside job /
    Sorry to here about your mother, my mother was being targeted as well so we fitted her with a new phone from BT, it can block almost all calls other than from trusted sources that you list in it. I would recommend these phones for anyone who is vulnerable.
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    simply pick-up the landline phone & speak directly to whom-so-ever purports to be improving or diminishing your financials. Get in the habit of NEVER responding by internet. Simple - Secure - Sorted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie View Post
    simply pick-up the landline phone & speak directly to whom-so-ever purports to be improving or diminishing your financials. Get in the habit of NEVER responding by internet. Simple - Secure - Sorted.
    This is bad advice for the old and vulnerable as these people can be very convincing, much better to advise them not to get into conversation with people they don't know. Personally I enjoy telling them exactly what I think of them, it's surprising how much abuse they take before hanging up. I consider it a duty to upset and abuse thieves and fraudsters, I am still in training to become a fully fledged "grumpy old man" but I do my best.
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    We bought new house phones at the beginning of this year. They have a feature BT have named 'call guardian'. We have had ZERO dodgy calls since - best £56 spent this year.
    You do need to have 'caller Id' enabled - which BT do charge for

    Google BT8500

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    I discovered recently that some sales call centres are acquiring local phone numbers so if someone has caller display it looks like a local call rather than a distant caller and more likely to pick up.

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    ,
    Quote Originally Posted by cloudman View Post
    This is bad advice for the old and vulnerable as these people can be very convincing, much better to advise them not to get into conversation with people they don't know. Personally I enjoy telling them exactly what I think of them, it's surprising how much abuse they take before hanging up. I consider it a duty to upset and abuse thieves and fraudsters, I am still in training to become a fully fledged "grumpy old man" but I do my best.
    Its the devil & the deep blue sea Cloudman, I see where your coming from, my point is to those not familier with techno-fraud as such but are on-line, to never respond on-line, you know who you bank with therefore you have their direct contact number. There will always be risk of course but this is the modern world for better or worse.
    Last edited by Robbie; 18th-July-2015 at 04:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie View Post
    ,

    Its the devil & the deep blue sea Cloudman, I see where your coming from, my point is to those not familier with techno-fraud as such but are on-line, to never respond on-line, you know who you bank with therefore you have their direct contact number. There will always be risk of course but this is the modern world for better or worse.
    I agree the risks are greater on line, the trouble with the elderly is that they are too trusting, they have been used to only dealing with people from their own locality and can not get their head around someone from 1000's of miles away trying to steal from them. I'll keep a open mind as to life being better or worse in this modern world.
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    I think this bank of Scotland thing really upset my mother and I think it brought her nearer to death she was a frail old lady who trusted everyone and anyone ,every one was honest ,like she was . hay I loved my mum and to see her suffer was bad if I ever get the scum enough said

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    It is a concern with vulnerable people - some people are inclined towards trusting and/or just being polite, especially if they feel the caller is a person in authority, or they perceive has their best interests at heart ... professionally, I see this ever day.

    We can do a fair bit by raising awareness in a safe way, and letting people know it's perfectly ok not to do business on the phone / at the door, right there and then, but to wait until they have help from someone they trust. If it's fully legitimate business, the caller should be happy to defer it - if they push, or try to circumvent it, that should also be a warning ...

    It can go both ways tho' - my mum is in her late 70's and if she has time, she'll keep these calls going on the phone for ages, trying to be obliging, but not giving anything away et cetera, then once she has the callers trust and they think it's going their way - she flips the switch and lets rip *rather* colourfully.


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    I had an email recently which purported to be from PayPal, using the old "we need to verify your details, as there is a problem with your account" ruse. This one actually had the cheek to warn me about trusting such emails and advised me to open an attached document, print it off and then fill in all the details they were after and post it to them! Naturally, I didn't open the attached document; nor did I telephone them on the numbers provided - for my peace of mind - in their email. I contacted PayPal independently, and they confirmed that it was a scam. Opening the attached document would have done all the damage and given the scammers everything they needed!
    Juvanile delinkwit, vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers. Du skal ikke tro at du er bedre end mig!

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    Quote Originally Posted by monkey_pork View Post
    It can go both ways tho' - my mum is in her late 70's and if she has time, she'll keep these calls going on the phone for ages, trying to be obliging, but not giving anything away et cetera, then once she has the callers trust and they think it's going their way - she flips the switch and lets rip *rather* colourfully.

    I like the sound of your mum, she can become an honorary member of the "Grumpy old men club"
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudman View Post
    I like the sound of your mum, she can become an honorary member of the "Grumpy old men club"
    Speaking personally, I'll readily admit to being AGOG - A Grumpy Old Git, who is constantly agog at what the modern world has to offer. However, taking umbrage at the devious tricks used by cyber-criminals to con the vulnerable out of their money is not, strictly speaking, an issue which should excite the other GOGs/GOMs/GOWs amongst us. It's something we should all complain about, as loudly and as frequently as possible!
    Juvanile delinkwit, vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers. Du skal ikke tro at du er bedre end mig!

  44. #44
    monkey_pork's Avatar
    monkey_pork is offline a wind age, a wolf age - before the world goes headlong
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudman View Post
    I like the sound of your mum, she can become an honorary member of the "Grumpy old men club"
    I'll give you her number - you can ring her up and tell her.


  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkey_pork View Post
    I'll give you her number - you can ring her up and tell her.

    Thanks for the offer but I think I'll pass on that one, although I may learn a few new words.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

  46. #46
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    Just had another email purporting to be from BT, but confirmed by the real BT to be a scam, telling me that my online bill is ready to view. All I have to do is click on the link to access the bill. The email itself look very, very genuine. My suspicions were aroused by the sender: norelpy@bt.com! Who says spelling doesn't matter?
    Juvanile delinkwit, vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers. Du skal ikke tro at du er bedre end mig!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockhopper View Post
    Just had another email purporting to be from BT, but confirmed by the real BT to be a scam, telling me that my online bill is ready to view. All I have to do is click on the link to access the bill. The email itself look very, very genuine. My suspicions were aroused by the sender: norelpy@bt.com! Who says spelling doesn't matter?
    Yikes! Hope you're well mate.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockhopper View Post
    Just had another email purporting to be from BT, but confirmed by the real BT to be a scam, telling me that my online bill is ready to view. All I have to do is click on the link to access the bill. The email itself look very, very genuine. My suspicions were aroused by the sender: norelpy@bt.com! Who says spelling doesn't matter?
    When we are busy it is easy to miss some of these scams, the golden rule is never to click a link in an email always go to the site direct. This is even if we are 99% it's genuine, they are very clever at copying the original emails, it only takes one mistake when we're in a hurry.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

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