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Do Not Fall For Fake E-mail Scams

By Jonathan Imberi

The number of fake e-mail scams received by users each week is overwhelming. You need to be cautious of emails that come from banks, eBay, PayPal and any other financial intuitions you have accounts with. Aside from the obvious grammatical and spelling errors that run rampant in these fake e-mails, there is a quick and easy way to separate a fake from the real deal.

You want to examine any links in the e-mail. The link may say http://www.ImberiPC.com but when you hover your mouse over the link, you can tell it points to another website like http://www.out-to-get-you.com.

When you hover your mouse over the link, the address that is being linked to will show up in the Status Bar on the left hand side. Your Status Bar is located at the bottom of your browser window just above the Task Bar. See the examples below.

As seen in Internet Explorer 7 

 As seen in Google Chrome 

Hover your mouse over the link above and see how even though it says "ImberiPC.com" it actually points to a rather malicious sounding website. (This is purely an example for this newsletter. ImberiPC.com is of course a safe and secure web site!)

Never click on a link inside an e-mail from an unknown or unrecognized sender. If the e-mail looks to be from a legitimate source, and you have an account with this company, then double check the links before clicking just to make sure they go where you expect them to. Remember, images can contain links too, so be sure to check them as well.

If you are uncertain of the link's destination but the e-mail seems legitimate, bypass the link altogether and go straight to the web site and log in. It is safer to visit the company's web site directly rather than click on a link you are unsure of.