Written: November 22, 2016

domain abuse notice

Two New Email Scams to Avoid

Each morning as I start my work routine the first thing that I do is read the Inbox of my email to see which messages require my attention for the day. Today I received two new email scams that at first blush looked almost legitimate.

Domain Abuse Notice

That email subject caught my attention, because the last thing that I want is a web site that is infected by something malicious, so here’s what the entire email looked like:

domain abuse notice

The English grammar looked OK, however the first clue that this was a phishing scam was their request for me to download something by clicking a link. Any legitimate email would instead be coming from my web hosting provider, and they would have specific details like:

This email is from a domain name called domaincop.net, and when you browse that site something comes up in Arabic letters, so this is not legitimate at all, you may safely delete this particular email.

Email Abuse Report

Ironically this second spam email has almost the identical type of subject line as the first email with a colon and a web site address in it:

email abuse report

The link in the Click Here is for a domain at abusemonitor247.com, which is just another junk content web site. Also notice the international phone number area code. Just like the first email scam notice this one has no customer details:

So the moral of this story is beware of warning email messages that prompt you to click or download a report without any account details. Be smart, be safe.

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One response to “Two New Email Scams to Avoid”

  1. Christine says:

    Thank you for the information.
    I got the 2 emails today and was just a bit suspicious.
    They almost look real so I was worried.

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Missing Images

Gathering Feedback after a Purchase

Since September of 2013 I’ve been on a fitness kick and started to bicycle every week, which means that I visit my local bike shop Performance Bicycle on a regular basis.

Performance Bicycle

One really smart thing that Performance Bicycle does is to follow up your purchase with an email, asking you to write some feedback on their website about what you just bought. This feedback allows other cyclists to hear what you have to say about your purchase, and that in turn impacts their decision on what to buy or even avoid in some cases.

The theory of this is quite sound, and I’ve followed through and posted a handful of times on their web site about my experience with a new pair of cycling shoes, shorts or gloves. One area that Performance Bicycle needs to improve upon is the email message sent out, requesting feedback on a recent purchase, because their email has broken links to images that make the email look just awful:

One of the essential rules in email marketing is to run a test message, to double check that all is well, prior to sending out an email blast to everyone on the list. I’ve told my local store about this broken email message, however I’m not sure that they are telling their management about this glaring error. If you send out emails to customers, please double check that all is well in order to stop an embarrassment like this.

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Email Etiquette

Many businesses use e-mail updates to keep clients and prospects updated and informed about information that is of value. For this to work best you should follow some simple rules:

  1. Have people opt in
  2. When people opt in, then let them opt out easily with one or at most two clicks
  3. The frequency of messages should be appropriate, not too often
  4. Let people choose what their interests are
  5. Provide value

I’ve been a loyal Acura car owner for many years and some how I got added to their email list, but then decided that I no longer wanted to receive their emails.

Acura email

 

At the bottom of the email was a link to update my preferences:

acura preferences

 

Clicking this link I ended up at www.acura.com and scrolled to the bottom and checked the box to Unsubscribe:

Unsubscribe

Then to my dismay the page told me that no updates had been made to my preferences:

No updates

I then phoned Acura support at 800 382 2238 and asked to be removed from their email list. The Acura phone support asked for my phone number to find my account, but when I provided my phone number he couldn’t find the account. Next he asked for my Vehicle Identification Number which I was unwilling to give him. Finally he asked for my name and had me wait several minutes on hold. Eventually he asked me to forward my latest Acura email to a special address. All of this process was a big hassle and inconvenience to me, a somewhat less than happy Acura customer.

Summary

I’m shocked that Acura has not mastered the art of email communications, and hope that in your business that you will comply with the CAN-SPAM act and make it easy for subscribers to quickly opt-out without placing them in a catch-22 situation where they cannot opt out themselves.

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bogus bbb

That’s Not the Better Business Bureau

As a small business owner I receive my fair share of unwanted email messages, so today I wanted to show you what a typical phishing email looks like:

bogus bbb

 

Phishing is where the bad guys are impersonating someone else, like the Better Business Bureau, and then they want you to click a link or download a file, however this link or download will likely cause harm to your computer, so don’t do it.

What tipped me off that this was a bogus email?

  1. The email name is from yong_evans@newyork.bbb.org which is false because the BBB uses only email names like bbb.org and never newyork.bbb.org.
  2. I am not a member of the BBB, so they have no reason to be sending me an email.
  3. The email content has an opening line: Owner/Manager. If I were a member then they would use my full name, or probably my business name, but never the generic Owner/Manager
  4. Reputable companies do not send email attachments like a ZIP file.

Using precautions like this you can stay victim-free when reading email each day.

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Email setup for laptop plus smart phone

With the recent growth of smart phone users (Android and iPhone) there’s an immediate question: How do I use email from both my computer and smart phone at the same time?

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)

When you add a new email account to your smart phone you get to decide the type of account, you will want to choose IMAP. Make sure that your other computer is also setup for IMAP, and if it’s instead setup as POP then you’ll have to delete that account and then create a new IMAP account.

IMAP will leave your email on the mail server, so that you can have two or more devices simultaneously using the same account. This is perfect for when you have both a smart phone plus another computer to access your email using popular email clients like Outlook (PC) or Entourage (Mac).

Details

Check with your web hosting company to find out how to setup IMAP because it involves setting up your Incoming Server and Outgoing Server with:

Most web hosting companies also specify that you use a Security Type of SSL and a specific Port Number for both incoming and outgoing messages. My web host is 1and1.com and they have posted online details.

Summary

Enjoy your new smart phone where you can now send and receive emails, just like from your laptop or desktop computers.

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Getting around email limits

My web hosting company is www.1and1.com and they have a policy of allowing only 99 emails to be sent at once. Today I wanted to send an email invitation to 200 photographers for a July 9th presentation on using social media.

How did I get around the stated limit of 99 emails?

I used Outlook 2007 and the mailmerge feature. In the body of my message I inserted the field for “Full Name”. This made each of my 200 email messages unique, not identical.

It turns out that my web host is really only counting identical email messages in their 99 limit. Hopefully this can help you send out email to larger lists, just customize each message. People often enjoy reading their own name in the first sentence of an email because it means that I probably know who they are.

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