Beware of Email Messages for LinkedIn

Don’t click on email Messages about LinkedIn until you think it through.

I received the email message that is pictured in this image. I had to think about it for a minute or two and really look at the content, the sender and the email to which it was addressed. This was focused on LinkedIn, but it could happen with any platform or service that you use.

Here are a couple of the clues:

Sender – LinkedIn would not be sending a message to me from an Outlook email address. Even though they are now affiliated with Microsoft, they are branded as LinkedIn.com

Address – this got sent to an email address that is not the primary one on my account and it was sent to undisclosed recipients.

Link to click – has nothing to do with LinkedIn.

De-activated – Linkedin does not deactivate any accounts without going through tons of work to get it done. Trust me on this one, I have tried to help customers delete duplicate accounts and it is TOUGH!

Web link – WHAT!!!???!!! this link makes absolutely no sense, why would I click on it?

Date – the way the grammar and punctuation work on this, it looks as if no one proofed it or does not speak English well.

Sincerely. – this could have been a typo, but if a major corporation is sending out a mass mailing like this, you betcha they are double checking and proofing several times.

Copyright – Just because they put it, doesn’t mean it is. PLUS, 2017 Information isn’t the name of a corporation – that is what the copyright is for typically.

All in all, to the untrained observer, they might click on this and BAM – virus or trojan horse gets unlocked. Just beware of any type of email that says to renew, verify, whatever before you click and give them what they want.

Call me if you have questions 708-822-2152.

BTW, Microsoft won’t call you either – read this one:¬†Be aware of potential hacks

Your Listing May Not Show in Google Search Results

How often do you get a call on any of your phone numbers about your Google Listing?

Today was the freakiest of the calls that I have ever gotten about my Google listing. I got one of “those” phone calls from a 708 area code about my listing on Google may not show up if my address and phone are not verified etc. I was working on some data entry for a project on which I am working, so I thought I would hold and see what they say.

I waited about 4 minutes listening to the repeating messages that they have. They didn’t even have a person come onto the line.

Suddenly, the line clicked over and it sounded like the person was in a room full of customer service operators. I started to say hello, is someone there and a voice on the other end of the phone said that they were there and didn’t want to talk to me. They were in a hospital recuperating from major surgery. I told the guy I wasn’t with Google and I wanted to tell them I didn’t want to talk to them either. I would say that the two of us spoke for about 30 seconds and then all of a sudden, there was a message that I was being disconnected from this group call. What the $&LL?

Here is my lesson, if you need to create or update your listing with Google,Google Listing just go to http://google.com/business or give me a call and I will help you make sure your listing is complete and accurate. Those companies that are calling don’t really care about you or your business. They are just trying to make a fast buck. Contact a reputable local business, or follow the directions on line.

The next time one of them calls, I think I will see if the same thing happens, just like when one of those companies calls telling me they are from “Microsoft” and my computer is throwing off a ton of error messages. Another story for another day!

Don’t get caught by a Hacker

Public Service Announcement – Hacker tried to access my computer files

As a home-based business, I have to be just as diligent as a company that has office space. Read my story and share it with those who might be caught unaware.

Last Friday both of my phone lines to the house rang at the exact same time. That in itself was odd, but what was even more odd was that there was a foreign voice at the other end telling me that someone had installed some malicious files. I said thanks, I will have my IT person look into it and hung up.Beware of the Hacker

Not being satisfied with that, the would-be hacker called back on Tuesday. This time I was prepared as I had already had a conversation about the potential threat with Trish from TG Consultants.

Again, both phones rang at the same time with the same number showing up with “Name Unavailable” showing on my caller ID. We have the Xfinity Triple Play with an extra phone line. I picked up one line, Rick picked up the other. This time I was a bit better prepared to “play”.

The guy on the phone said his name was “Michael” from Windows Technical Department. He had a thick accent and I had to have him repeat himself several times just to understand what he was saying. He asked if I was in front of my computer and was it on. He was going to tell me the steps to eliminate the infected files that had been downloaded without my knowledge.
I wanted “Michael” to tell me the steps, I would write them down and then have my IT person help me with the repair to my computer. I think I spooked him. He transferred me to the Sr. Technical guy named “Jake”. Again another thick foreign accent. He said I had malware and malicious files on my computer because I had been hacked by someone in Los Angeles CA. He started to try to tell me my computer ID number – I only had four on at the time… He got through the first four numbers and couldn’t tell me the rest.
I asked both guys to give me the directions, I would write them down and then have my IT person help me with them. They both said that only they could help me.
I finally had played cat and mouse with the guy long enough and said I don’t believe you are telling me the truth, and I hung up.
Today the same phone number dialed back. I was on my way to a meeting so I asked for a call back number which traced to a city in California – and the plot thickens! I wonder who might have installed the malware????
I scanned each computer with the anti-virus software that is on each device. I used a Malware detection software to eliminate a threat. AND I called the Sheriff’s Department and filed a report.¬†Passwords have been changed. I think I feel confident that no files were lost or held for ransom!
Here are the lessons –
  1. Windows, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Adobe, or any other big name company is not going to call you!
  2. Don’t answer “Name Unavailable” numbers from area codes that you don’t recognize or at all. They can go to voicemail if they want to talk with me.
  3. Make sure your anti-virus is current. Sometimes it can update more than once a day.
  4. Find a good malware screening program -Trish suggested malwarebytes.org
  5. Back up your data with an automatic back-up service. There are several – like Crashplan, Carbonite and other reputable ones. Check with an IT professional like TG Consultants or FutureLink or Bryant Crawford from FastTeks for a good recommendation.
  6. Change your passwords regularly and don’t use the same password for everything!
Please share this information with your friends and family so that they are not caught unaware and allow someone to enter their computer.