Spam Alert: interest rate of 3%

Exploding Spam Alert

A new email threat has begun circulating.


Please read carefully the following information. Email mail such as the following example is a thinly disguised attempt to exploit unsuspecting computer users. When enough emails of this type are mailed out, the spammer will typically receive a few responses. It's a simple 'numbers game' : huge volumes of spam are sent out daily in the expectation of fooling just a few folks. Don't get taken in.

Subject: interest rate of 3%

Text:

We are happy to inform you that S FL (STANDARD FINANCE AND LOANS) areĀ  now giving out loan at low interest rate of 3%, if you are interested please contact Mr. Evans Albert Email: evansalbert45@yahoo.co.uk With your information:
------------------------------------------
Name in full:
Amount Needed by you:
Duration/Time:
Phone Number
Country:
Age:
-------------------------------------------

Origin: IP Address 60.250.255.94, Taiwan, City: Taoyuan, T'Ai-Wan

Threat Level: Email harvesting for potential identify theft and additional spam generation.

Attachment: None

Exposure: Responding to the email will reveal your contact information to the recipient, which may be or may not be legitimate. Simply responding to the email address included in the text of the message, regardless of the content of the response, will reveal your email address to the recipient.

Pragmatism: While some lending institutions may be offering loans at 3% or less, no legitimate loan company will send out email without their contact information. Expect to see at least a telephone number and physical address. A loan company wants their customers to know they are legitimate.

Note that the email address in the body of the message is different from the "Reply To" email address. This is a red flag that the message is probably not believable. The email address in the body of the message belongs to the Yahoo domain, which is not secure: anyone in the world can register a Yahoo.co.uk email address at no charge. These addresses cannot be traced and do not require the registrant to provide any verifiable identification. Responding to this address is foolish at best and potentially dangerous if any personal information is revealed.

The Reply To address, info.loan@sfl.co.uk, belongs to a domain for a company selling personalized products such as cufflinks and keyrings. Their web site gives no indication that they offer any type of low interest loans.

Remember than the "Reply To" address is easily 'faked' by anyone sending email. It's analogous to the "return address" on a letter sent through the US Mail: anyone mailing a paper letter can write any return address in the upper left-hand corner. The Reply To address in an email is equally easy to fake.

Strategy:

  • Delete the email without replying to it. There's nothing to be gained by any type of response.
  • Do not answer it. Do not give out your contact information, social security number, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, or any other personal information to an untrusted web site or email sender. Simply responding to the message confirms to the recipient that you actually exist. You will be added to more mailing lists. A nasty response may make you feel better, but your response will be almost certainly be 'read' by a computer and will never be seen by any humans.
  • Do not open attachments from unknown senders. If you don't recognize the sender, delete the attachment.
  • Never forward attachments from unknown senders.

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Comments 1 comment

Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 6 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

Thanks for the warning.

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