I am Prince Fayad Bolkiah, the eldest son of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, former Finance Minister of Brunei, the tiny oil-rich sultanate on the Gulf Island of Borneo. Have you received an email like this before? You probably have, it’s just gone into your spam folder. If you do ever receive an email from Fayad or another prince of Brunei, don’t respond, it’s a scam.
There are a lot of different kinds of hacking in the world, most of them have to deal with computers and technology. Most of these are done through back doors where they can’t be seen. Although, there is one kind of hacking that may walk right through your front door. That kind of hacking is called social engineering.
Social engineering is the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information, rather than by breaking in or using technical cracking techniques.
Thanks Wikipedia. Now social engineering can be broken down into many other forms but with this post, I wanted to discuss phishing. You’ve probably heard the term before. Phishing is an attempt to gain the victims information without them knowing. This can be through an email, through a fake website or even over the phone.
Here are a couple of tips that should set off a red flag immediately:
- The phisher is asking for personal information. If you receive an email asking you to click a link and enter your username and password, it’s probably a phishing attempt. If you get a phone call from the IT guy asking for your password, ask to call him back at the number you have for him.
- They are offering you a lot of money if you give them a little. You did not win the UK lottery, Prince Fayad did not pass away and leave his fortune to you and no one is going to give you 75% of their fortune if you let them use your bank account to transfer it to America.
- The email is from a weird domain address. If you get an email from your bank, it should be from, “firstname.lastname@example.org” not, “email@example.com” This is a good indication that it is not coming from who you think it is coming from.
- There is a link redirecting you to a different URL. Just like the email address domain, if they are asking you to follow a link, don’t do it. “PayPal.com/surveys” is fine. “PayPal.com.surveys” is not fine. Watch your dots.
These are very good indications that you are being phished but definitely not the only ones. I would say if you have any doubts at all, make sure. Call the bank, double check your PayPal account, call them back at the number you have for them.
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