Tuesday, January 5, 2010


This morning I had an email in my Windows Mail inbox, allegedly from Bank of America, telling me I had only $1.68 in my checking account and to sign in to online banking through the email. Since I knew this was not my correct balance (and I never get alerts about my balance, ever), I called BOA immediately.

This is a fraud - but the scariest part is that the email did have the last 4 digits of my account number correct.

I was told by BOA customer service to forward the email to abuse@bankofamerica.com and that emails like this one have been going out in the last few days.

No more online banking for me.


macsurf said...

Hi Gillian,

Your story is an example of why I do as little as possible on line when it comes to anything financial.

I won't even shop on line. I don't want a debit or credit card number floating around in cyber space. I'm probably overly cautious, but I figure better safe than sorry.

I've been gettin this spam from the scam freecreditreport.com outfit with diring greetings about possible ID theft and frauds accessing my credit reports.

The greetings say "find out now, for free". Twice I've opened the email and both times there's an announcement that I've won some prize and, when I do click on the "free credit score" icon, guess waht. It's not free!!

It's 9.95 or 14.95. So now I just delete them and hope that it is just advetising spam that's using a fear tactic to get you to subscribe now that Congress is investigating the company for its old scam of promising "free" access to your credit reports when, in reality, once you subscribed, the charge kept showing up on people's monthly bills as opposed to being the one shot deal they thought they were subscribing to.

The internet is great, but it provides too many scammers to many opportunities to scam.

Anyway, hope you and PI weathered the weekend storm OK.

Less than three months and counting til I'm back in Newburyport.

Then the job and housing searches begin. I have to find a pet friendly place because I have adopted a Toy Poodle who was terribly negelcted but has morphed into an incredible little dog.

He actually rides on my shoulders while I'm snorkeling

Ciao for now!

Dick Monahan said...

I'm a little late with this, but here's how my system works.

1a) I use Eudora, not MS Outlook.

1b) I run a very good virus detector (AVG).

1c) My email is on my computer, not in the cloud (gmail, yahoo, etc.).

2) I only accept text messages. This means that I see all the crazy addresses that are hidden in html messages. Messages that are all html, with no intelligible text, no matter who sent them, are deleted.

3a) Any messages not from a known sender gets dumped into a possible spam folder, which I review at least daily.

3b) If I don't know the sender, and the subject does not give me some reason to open it (e.g., it may say "Gillian suggested I write you"), I delete the message unopened. This includes all emails from outfits like evite, hallmark, etc., and most forwarded messages; they never get opened.

3c) If I know the sender, I open it.

4) When I've opened any email, if it contains nothing but a link or attachment, without explanatory text, I delete the message. I never click on a link or open an attachment unless I know what I am going to see.

It works for me.

Gillian Swart said...

Thanks macsurf and Dick. As my sister pointed out, whoever is doing this does not have access to my accounts or they wouldn't be phishing (my only consolation).

Macsurf, maybe by the time you get back, NBPT Biz can afford to give you some work! Keep your fingers crossed. Loved the bit about the pup.