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article imageOp-Ed: Avoiding the phishers, by email and phone

By Alexander Baron     Dec 1, 2011 in World
Internet fraud is booming, and the scam artists are becoming more and more sophisticated. Fortunately, so are we, as are the tools at our command to catch them out.
Tuesday morning, I'd just climbed out of the bath when my phone rang, and a lady with an exotic voice who was obviously calling from some far-away place came on the line. I thought at first it was an invitation to make a deposit to one of the poker rooms I have been known to frequent, but they don't usually call this early. Instead, she wanted to advise me that some malware had been downloaded onto my computer, but she was going to sort it out for me. I told her I'd just got out of the bath and said if she gave me her number I'd phone her back. She said she'd phone me back. She never did.
Okay, in case you haven't heard this one, don't be duped by anyone who phones you and tells you your machine is at risk unless you visit a certain website and download a certain piece of software onto your computer.
Fortunately, the latest generation of Microsoft software warns you when you are about to visit a potentially dodgy website. And of course you have anti-virus protection installed! AVG is probably the industry leader for IBM compatibles, but McAfee is also good, although sometimes the two programs don't like each other.
You may also of course receive an e-mail requesting your password, usually from some semi-literate halfwit in Nigeria. The Nigerian Government has clamped down on this sort of thing in recent years, but nature abhors a vacuum, and if the Nigerian spammers and phishermen are all locked up, others will appear elsewhere.
Not that you, dear reader, would be so stupid as to fill in the details below and reply to this fifth rate hustler, but there are a number of ways you can trace an e-mail, including this service, which like everything else worthwhile on-line is totally free - including the basic version of AVG.
When I traced the above e-mail, this is what I got; it was sent from Nigeria, just as you would expect if it had really been from British Telecom. Not.
A trace of an e-mail purported sent by the ISP British Telecom.
A trace of an e-mail purported sent by the ISP British Telecom.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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