Knowledgebase
Protect yourself from Phishing Emails
Posted by Admin on 01 May 2009 12:17 PM

Dear Readers,


We want to inform the bagpiping community of reports of  "Phishing Emails" that are targeting bagpipers via email. 


There are plenty of informational websites about email scams where you can learn, report, and protect yourself. Visit the links below to learn more about "Phishing Email Scams"


I received an email recently from one of these scammers and it was very apparent it was a scam. Below are a few of the "red flags" that appeared in the email.


1) Subject Line "URGENT BAGPIPER NEEDED"  - All in caps and creating sense of rush

2) Date of the performance was in the past - (they forgot to update the email)

3) Requested your personal information

4) Email full of Grammar and Spelling errors ( Clue: a pirate with computer skills )

5) Third party will pay the fee (Rich Uncle ?)

6) Already agreed to hire without speaking to you. (Hurry up and  send me your info so I can pay you !)

7) Money is awaiting - please just send me your info (No negotiations in this economy - RED FLAG !) 

8) Did not ask about your experience, what you wear, what you play (Again just send me your info first to collect the money)


This same scam has been going on for years. The scammer just changes the subject line and the story to target their victim. 


Some ways to protect yourself:


1) Google ! 

Search for the person's name, email address, mailing address and phone numbers to see if there is any history. No results - be very cautious. There are a lot of people that have some internet history (ie: TheKnot Wedding Website, FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace, AOL, news articles, address, forums postings, phone, email)


2) Never send/refund money to the individual -

Most scams will request you to cash a check or money order first for an amount that is larger the then your requested fee and then ask you to send excess money back. The check will bounce and you will have just given the thief free money !


3) Speak with the person on the phone.

Some scammers may speak with you but you can weed out those that will not.


4) Request a deposit.

It's a great way to protect yourself from last minute cancellations and scams


5) Never send you personal info

 Scammers will request your social security numbers, bank accounts, home address etc so they can send you your payment


6) Wedding Invite

Anything can be faked, but a bride or groom will not have any problem sending you their wedding invitation. It's a great way to make sure you have the correct information for the event and you can also verify the event if it is suspect.


7) Grammer and Spelling Errors

Look for emails that appear to have been written by a 10 year old.


8) Get a PO Box 

Protect your home mailing address and use a PO Box


9) Get a business phone line. 

You can get a toll free number for as low as $2.00 a month and their are free voice mail services that you can use.


10) Block Caller ID

If you do not have separate business phone line, then block you home phone number with caller ID block - call your phone company for instructions.


Cheers and please stay tuned and stay safe !


Bagpiper.Com



Reference Websites with tips to Protect Your Self for Phishing Emails:

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