Melissa is very talented and quite popular. She is an experienced photographer and an illustrator who finds the time to email and fill out contact forms for thousands and thousands of people every day. She also uses various aliases such as: Mel, Mellie, Melinda, Melina, and Melisha. Also, she is remarkably able to have hundreds of email addresses registered to her name. Her emails and form submissions alert that company or individual of copyright infringement of her material. The reality is that copyright infringement exists. This person does not.
This is a phishing scam that has been floating around the internet for quite a few years already:
A phishing scam comes in the form of an email, contact form submission, social media message, or even a text. The language can be threatening and seems real. However, if you look closer you’ll see what the real goal is – to get you to click on a link. Whatever you do, DO NOT click the link. This is a file download that typically inserts vulnerabilities in your computer or network.
Identifying a Phishing Scam
Please know that there are several other phishing scams out there. They come in various forms and from various people. They are all hoping that you will click on a link. Here are a few steps to help you identify the next scam that hits your inbox:
- Improper grammar, misspelled words, and awkward phrasing indicates that it could be a fake message.
- Hover over a URL (DO NOT CLICK) to see where it’s actually taking you.
- Don’t open attachments from senders you do not know.
- Don’t believe everything you read, many of these scammers try to play on fear.
Identifying and deleting the threat is only one defense. Making sure your security software is up-to-date on your computer and mobile device will also help.
Have you clicked on a link or responded to a phishing attempt? Report them to the FTC.
Don’t take the bait. Protect yourself and your company from scams! The internet is a beautiful and scary place. Stay smart and aware that even the simplest of scams can cause the biggest trouble.
Naomi Dhillon is a Marketing Technologist at Stanton Street, a web design and development company in El Paso, TX.
Naomi attended New Mexico State University graduating with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in English. She also has an A.S. in graphic design.