Company E-mails Targeted
Employees at several companies are receiving e-mail warnings from a service called "Spamcop." Computer experts say it's just the latest in a long line of internet scams aimed at getting access to people's computers and personal information. "Spamcop in general has been going around for awhile," says KTRH IT Expert Richard Gerlovich. He says the e-mails contain warnings and instructions that can appear legitimate, but they aren't. "If you get a message that says you're being blacklisted, let your IT department know. Chances are, it's not real...they would send you a message you would recognize as from your company."
The "Spamcop" e-mails also ask users to click on a link to solve the problem. That is a big no-no, according to Chester Wisniewski with Sophos Antivirus. "You should never click a link on an (unknown) e-mail," he tells KTRH. "If you believe it to be a legitimate communication, use some other method to contact people to make sure you're talking to the Real McCoy." Gerlovich's advice is more general. "Always be careful when you get a message from somebody you don't know." He also says that any request for personal information should be a red flag. Most companies, banks, and government agencies will never ask for personal info in an e-mail.
E-mails like "Spamcop" are one of many ways that scammers try to get their hands on personal information. Wisniewski finds these spam warnings particularly insidious because they prey on people's desire to help solve a problem. The best antidote, he says, is vigilance in protecting your personal information at all costs. "No different than you wouldn't necessarily give away sensitive information to a stranger over the phone if they were to call you, the same should apply to your e-mail inbox."