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Email and phone scamming

Posted by Ian on February 21, 2017 at 5:55 AM


Thought I would share my own stupidity with you  - why let it go to wast when you might benefit/have a laugh!


I know about email and phone phishing scams and read about victims with breathless amazement, but of course regard myself clued up. Then last week broke both cardinal rules of staying safe… I gave my card details over the phone to a cold caller and clicked on an email link offering me money!


The caller was our veg box deliverer chasing payment - in my defence it was the third time they had called and weren’t actually asking for payment over the phone but I offered to pay by card. It was a genuine call but the fact is I gave my card details over the phone to a cold caller - all a scammer would have needed was a bit of innocuous info on our order (like watching which houses the van delivers to?) and a ‘nice’ telephone manner…


After being off sick and still not feeling great, was piling through a massive backlog of emails and saw one from HMRC (just done tax return in Jan), saying a review calculated I was owed a couple of hundred refund. Unlikely I thought, but it has happened in the past so I clicked on a link to check the details - I was saved by BT/Safari browser/Macafee, one of which flagged the link as dangerous at which point I realised what, in my distracted state, I had done. I’m comforting myself that I wold have become suspicious at a phishing site wanting bank details etc but even clicking the link was very stupid!


What I take away from my close shaves is what made me vulnerable. The call was not unexpected and made sense so I believed it and dropped sensible caution (I should have thanked them and paid online as normal).


The email was obviously dodgy but tired, with a cold, and in a ‘pilling through stuff’ mood I chose to try to deal with the email rather than read it and pause. Had I done so, allowing myself a moments internal dialog, the small voice that had already said it was not believable might have got a proper hearing.


So, smart-ass with background in computing and psychology forgets basic scamming safety.


Can’t remember what I went upstairs for sometimes too - now what’s that about…

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