By William Claney, Tech Writer, Computer USA
You are prey, fish in a barrel, one of many to be singled-out and cut down. Predators are lurking in the dark corners of the Internet, hidden in the maze of camouflage, bushes and kelp that infest the dark web. Have you escaped the holiday anglers and hunters to this point? It is time to worry. When found will they net you? Can you escape? Will you escape?
Case in point; I just received an email notification that my “Norton PACK 360 has been successfully renewed and restored for $418.78.” Norton is a well-known legitimate anti-virus product and does have an auto-bill feature for users that subscribe to the service. In addition, there are help lines and technical support phone numbers one can call to converse with them. Therefore, this sounds legit, and the message looks like it is okay as well. Only one problem here. I do not subscribe to Norton, nor do I have an account.
My email message said if I had any problems with the billing, I should call their phone number 1-888-694-2291 if I wish to CANCEL. (Do not call the number.) I suppose it is human nature to put things right, to correct the record so ones’ impulse is to call and dispute the charge or figure out about what they are referencing. That is when the hook is set. You call, they sell you a lie hoping you take it “hook-line-and-sinker.” Gotcha.
The hunters cast their Internet phishing trap (fishing) and wait for unwitting prey to swim by and nibble on the bait, then hook you. These anglers rely on human natures curiosity, gullibility and trustworthiness.
In conclusion, when something or someone comes at you on the Internet with confusion or when something is slightly off, run. there is no shame in self-preservation. Nor is there rudeness in saying get lost buster, you are not going to hurt their feelings so stop being so polite. In fact, report them to APWG by sending email to email@example.com.
We are now putting you on notice. You owe the IRS $1000 in back taxes. We will initiate collection processes, including ceasing your bank accounts and property unless you call 1-800-IMA-SCAM by this evening.