SPOTTING FAKE E-MAIL

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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, info.tech­zone33@gmail.com. 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.

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