SPOTTING FAKE E-MAIL
How do you know if an e-mail is fake? Let us count the ways.
Q: This is Tokunbo again forwarding you an e-mail I supposedly got from Microsoft. What do you think about this? Have a good week. — Tokunbo Joseph Olowookere
Tech+: Oh, Tokunbo. I’m glad you’re being cautious. Looking at the image you sent reminds me of those picture games kids play. The “find what’s wrong with this picture” games.
Without even doing deep digging, there are a number of fake signs. Let’s count them:
1. The sender’s e-mail: Microsoft Alert Team, firstname.lastname@example.org. Microsoft would not send e-mail from a Google Gmail account.
2. The phone number. Search for it online and you’ll pull up lots of people commenting how fake this is and it is phishing for information.
3. The logo. Similar to Microsoft, but definitely not one I’ve seen Microsoft ever use.
4. An e-mail from Microsoft? Microsoft doesn’t do that. A lengthy post on Microsoft’s Safety & Security Center says: “Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.” Nor send e-mails, says the same page. If there is a security issue, Microsoft will post a warning on its site, so check there first before clicking or talking to anyone. Microsoft also shares one useful detail: the customer service number, 1-800-426-9400. If you feel like you’re being scammed, tell Microsoft at microsoft.com/en-US/reportascam.
I’m sure there are more clues to malicious intent in the message Tokunbo received. Go ahead, readers: Find them and share it with
the rest of us.