Scammers are becoming very adept at tricking people.
They entice you to click on links or buttons in genuine looking emails. Clicking on these links will almost certainly cause problems. Even the best security software cannot protect you from this type of thing because these are just con tricks trying to get YOU to do something that under normal circumstances you would not do.
This first example shows the content of a recent email that has been received by several of our customers. This is the actual email content although the recipient information has been amended for confidentiality.
This is a particularly distasteful form of extortion where the sender is demanding payment in Bitcoin (BTC) or they claim they will release private information. The customer details are genuine and it appears that the scammers obtained the information by having the customer login to a fake site and provide a password. They now have details that could lead them to further access to your personal information.
We have seen several iterations of this email but the intention is basically the same - pay us money (in varying amounts of Bitcoin) or we will release personal information that we have access to on your computer. Our investigations showed remote access software had been installed on some computers and the password was a valid one for the customer.
For further information on this and other Internet security issues, take a look at NetSafe. We recommend this site for advice on all types of online safety issues.
In terms of general Internet security, something to consider is to try and NOT use the same password for everything. If you do get caught up on this type of scam and have a habit of using the same password, then you leave yourself open to having scammers getting access to critical information. There are now applications that can help with creating and storing secure passwords and we would be happy to assist you with setting this up.
The snippet above is an example of how scammers try to trick you to click on an email link. An email arriving in your mailbox and may appear to be from Microsoft, Apple or Spark to name just a few.
These emails are made to look genuine and will often have a deadline to promote a quick response but if you look at the senders email details, this can be a quick way to check if the email is coming from a genuine source.
It is not a bad habit to look at the sender details for any email that is unsolicited or unexpected. Clicking on a link in the message could well be leading you into a trap.
Above is another example of how a bogus email can be made to look genuine, but if you check the sender information, you can see it has not come from who it should have. The sender's address is nothing to do with Office 365 or Microsoft.