Sunday, November 28, 2010

Beware Emails That Look Real

My mail provider is Yahoo allows you to create an email account for free. A lot of providers do this - your own ISP (Internet Service Provide), for example Bresnan Cable, if you are out of Cheyenne, Wyoming, may give you an email address ending in

Recently I've been getting a lot of emails that purport to come from Yahoo. Below is the gist of what these emails say:
Yahoo! Administrative Notice
Sunday, November 28, 2010 8:27 PM
Add sender to Contacts
Yahoo! account holder:

When you set up and use Yahoo! account, you agreed to abide by Yahoo! Terms of Service. According to the terms of service, when Yahoo! notices that you have violated our Terms of Service, or spirit, or your behavior and inconsistency with the terms of the content or spirit of the time (or Other similar situations), we have the right to close your account or otherwise prohibit you to use your account.

Recently, we found that you violated the terms of service. Please read the Terms of Service again, know what behavior will be treated as a breach of the terms in this way before we stop you from using your account. You are therefore required to verify your account information manually after clicking the REPLY button or your account will be suspended for security reasons.

Name: ...................................
ID: .....................................
Password: ...............................
Country: ................................

We will again check your account. If then we believe that the way you use the account is in violation of the terms of service, we may end your account without prior notice.

Yahoo! Account Services

When you get something like this, chances are very good that it's a fraud. Note that the whole text is ungrammatical. That's a clue (well it has been in the past - these days with everything being outsourced to non-native English speaking countries, who knows???) that the email is not genuine.

But more importantly, look at the email address from which this piece of mail came:

That's what's called a "spoof" address. Yahoo owns the url,, so any email that comes to you is going to come from, NOT or any combination thereof.

Whenevery you receive an email that tells you your account may be suspended unless you send them your credit card number, or your password, whether is from Yahoo services, or Paypal, or your credit card company, or what have you, chances are 99% certain that it's a scam.

Look at the URL that is the "reply-to" address, and if it has extraneous words or symbols, that's your proof.

Unfortunately, people are trying to steal your password or other information all the time, using a variety of means. Some are so blatant and obvious as to be laughable, but others are insidious and can fool you if you're not careful.

So - be careful at all times!

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