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Hacking and Scams; Phishing and Spam

How to Know if You’ve Been Hacked

Here are some sure signs you have possibly been hacked:

  • Fake antivirus messages: you’ve actually already been hacked and now you’re being lured to a malicious site by suggesting you upgrade or download some form of software.
  • Unwanted browser toolbars:unless you installed it yourself, get rid of it.
  • Redirected Internet searches: searching for certain terms takes you somewhere you had no intention of going.
  • Frequent random popups: random browser pop-ups from websites that don’t normally generate them
  • Your friends receive fake emails from your email account: malware programs and hackers often pull email addresses and contact lists from social media sites
  • Your online passwords suddenly change:If one or more of your online passwords suddenly change, you’ve more than likely been hacked — or at least that online service has been hacked.
  • Unexpected software installs
  • Your mouse moves between programs and makes correct selections
  • Your antimalware software, Task Manager, or Registry Editor is disabled and can’t be restarted
  • Your bank account is missing money

How to Know if the Email you Just Received is Phishing or Spam

There are some things that frequently occur in email that should lead you to suspect that an email is a phishing email or spam. Generally speaking, if you receive an email that you are not expecting from a source you don’t know, you should question it. If you receive an email from a source you DO know making an unusual request, verify it with the sender either by phone or a separate email. Do not use the original email to reply. Do not click on links and do not open ANY attachments.

  • Alarmist or dire warnings of account closures
  • Promises of money from complete strangers
  • If it sounds too good to be true . . .
  • Misspellings or bad grammar
  • URLs that have no connection to sender
  • Sender return addresses that have no relation to subject

There are a lot of common scams that go out such as the following:

  • Bank of America – Bank of America – Important Notice
  • Westpac Bank – Your Account Has Been Blocked
  • PayPal – Resolve remote access
  • Outlook – FW: (WARNING) Microsoft Account Suspension
  • Chase Bank – Fwd: Online Message From Chase Online
  • Apple Store – About your last Transaction
  • PayPal – We were unable to process your request
  • Bank of America – Fwd: We Have Temporarily disabled Your Account!!!!!!
  • PayPal – [PayPal] Alert from our security system !