Written: July 15, 2016
I signed up years ago for PayPal because it was an easy way to make and accept payments online at sites like eBay, so when I get an email from PayPal I do pay attention. At first glance this email appears to be legitimate because of the layout, PayPal logo, and boilerplate footer content.
My first suspicion came about because this email didn’t have my First and Last name included, and I know that PayPal always uses that information when they communicate with me. Secondly, when I hover my mouse over the link for try again it goes to some other website not related in any way to the real PayPal:
Same problem with the second link for send us an email, it doesn’t go to a PayPal site.
The final detail to reveal that this is really just a phishing scheme designed to steal my credentials is the Login button:
Double check any email supposedly coming from PayPal, and if the links don’t have paypal.com in them, then it’s just another phishing scheme to steal your identity.
There is a new site called Fubar that is supposed to be an online bar and Happy Hour, and I started to receive emails claiming to be from Fubar that looked rather plain:
Since there were no graphics, no logos and not much formatting I decided to check out the links by hovering my mouse over fubar.com:
Sure enough, yet another phishing scam because the link has nothing to do with fubar.com. Besides, my drinking and dating days are long gone as I am 27 years sober and married 33 years.Tags: Fubar.com, PayPal, phishing
Written: May 11, 2016
Each morning after breakfast I start my work day by reading email messages to see what needs my attention or is urgent. This security message from Facebook stood out right away as something that I should look into right away:
The return address was from firstname.lastname@example.org, they knew my first name, the English was proper, the message made sense, and the link they wanted me to click was legitimate, https://www.facebook.com/login/. I certainly didn’t try to login to Facebook at 3:24AM using the Firefox browser on Windows 8, because my default browser is Google Chrome on Mac OS X.
Once I visited the login page I was greeted with a dialog telling me that my Facebook account was temporarily locked:
The next dialog asked if I had tried to login on Facebook from South Korea, so I replied No. The third dialog let me know that my account needed to be kept secure:
They asked me to provide a new password:
New password accepted, so now I’m all set:
The security folks at Facebook automatically noticed that someone was trying to login to my account from South Korea, which they blocked, and then for added security Facebook locked my account until I could respond to their email request to login and answer questions about my login history. I feel protected by Facebook and am quite happy to reset my password and continue using Facebook today. I did quickly look at my Facebook feed to double check that nothing had been posted as me by another person, and found the feed to be all safe. What a happy ending to the story.Tags: Facebook, security
Written: April 29, 2016
I’ve been a user of PayPal since the very first days, enjoying how easy it is to send and receive money by email using my credit card or bank accounts. With success comes imposters who want to trick you into believing that they are PayPal, when in fact they are scammers sending out official-looking emails that look a lot like a real PayPal message. Here’s an email that I received today from a scammer:
The logo looks official, but there are a few things that stand out to tell me that it’s a phishing scheme instead:
The final two clues that this is a fake are the From email address:
And the hyperlink in the email is not going to any secure paypal.com address:
So the moral of this story is to continue using PayPal, however just double check any email from a financial institution like PayPal before blindly clicking the hyperlink. If I were to click this phishing hyperlink I’d end up at a site that would request my login credentials, giving them directly to the bad guys, who would then probably lock me out of my PayPal account and siphon off any of my PayPal funds or worse yet, get into my linked banking accounts.Tags: PayPal, phishing
I pretty much love all things related to Google because they are often free and quite useful to running my business and personal tasks, such is the case with Android Pay, a way to make purchases at retail locations using your Android phone, keeping your wallet at home or in the car. What is Android Pay? Fair question.
To use Android Pay requires that you have an Android phone equipped with something called NFC, Near Field Communications. The NFC is a type of secure, wireless system used on both your phone and the retailer credit card equipment. Next time that you visit your retailer look at their credit card terminal for this wave symbol:
Yes, that symbol looks a lot like a WiFi signal, but don’t be confused because it really stands for NFC.
Next, check if your Android phone supports NFC. On my phone I swipe down from the top, then click the icon in the upper right-hand corner to find the NFC logo, clicking the NFC logo to turn it on or off:
Install the free Android Pay app at the Play store, add some of your credit cards by snapping a photo of the front side, then start using Android Pay. There are over one million stores in the US that now offer Android Pay, so expect the numbers to keep increasing because it’s a winner. In my area I use Android Pay at:
To use Android Pay I double-check that NFC is turned on, click the Android Pay app, then place my phone on top of the credit card terminal. An email receipt is automatically sent to your phone by text message, so when you get home there are no more paper receipts and it’s quite easy to see where you’ve been shopping and what the amounts are.
I’m still waiting for Wells Fargo Bank to add NFC to their ATM machines, and the state of Oregon to allow the use of cell phone ID, then I can just about live without my wallet and only use my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phone with Android Pay.Android Pay, Galaxy Note 4, NFC