Note: This is a post from last year, but it still rings very true. One of my site-building clients recently received an email from a company other than the one where her site is hosted. It indicated that she had only a few days left before her site would be closed, unless… (you guessed it!) she paid her $75 fee. Being a diligent person she paid.
As many of you know, I build WordPress sites for artists. One part of my service is that I field many spoofing, phishing, and general security issues that you, as a client, never see. One such email I received recently, on behalf of one of my clients informed me that unless I did certain things my client’s site would be removed from the web.
I contacted my provider, GoDaddy, immediately and was told it was a “phishing” email. This type of email is very insidious. It wants you to answer them right away, before you decide to contact anyone else, hence the emergency nature of the email.
There are some very simple steps to take as soon as you receive anything questionable, or one that asks for either money or any manner of personal information:
1. Check the “From” address. For example, “firstname.lastname@example.org.” If you copy and paste the “domaincop.com” part into a new window, you will most likely be taken to an address that has nothing to do with the email. Don’t be taken by the seemingly “good” name. That is done to entice you to click (anywhere) in the mail. Once you do that, they have you in a a variety of ways.
2. Read over the entire email. If you have no clue what it is about, delete it or send it to your spam folder.
3. If you are, actually, worried about your domain being cancelled, call the provider (or the person who built your site). They (like GoDaddy) should be able to let you know whether it is a good email.
4. Always check spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Granted, there are many out there who aren’t followers of good writing. If you look close enough, however, and take your time, you should be able to pick out something questionable.
Those are just a few basics, but it is a good start. As you can imagine there are many sites that have good information about these “nasty” emails.
I would not want any of you to have to tell someone that you were bilked out of your savings.
Be smart. Be diligent. Be safe.