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Smart people are falling for this crazy phishing scam

Smart people are falling for this crazy phishing scam
© Artur Szczybylo | Dreamstime.com

This is something that cannot be stressed enough. You always need to be on the lookout for the latest scams.

That's because criminals are counting on us to overlook details and fall for their tricks. It just takes one mistake to have your entire bank account drained or your identity stolen.

Which is why we at Komando.com do our best to keep you up to date on all the attacks making the rounds. You're not going to believe the phishing email that Kim Komando found in her inbox. It's pretty ridiculous but people are actually falling for it.

Can you tell this is a phishing scam?

Kim recently received a phishing email from a scammer. Fortunately, she knows how to recognize these scams and didn't fall for it.

Unfortunately, one of Kim's listeners wasn't so lucky. She got an email from a listener, a heart surgeon, who said he'd received a similar phishing email. The surgeon made the mistake of actually paying the scammer money.

Take a look at the following email and see if you can pinpoint why it's a scam.

As you can see in the email, the criminal claims to have put malware onto a porn site that the recipient visited. It then claims the malware stole the victim's personal info and turned their camera on, allowing the criminal to record everything happening in the room.

If you don't pay the hacker $350 in Bitcoin, they will shame the victim by sharing the recorded video. Once you pay the ransom, the scammer will delete everything and you'll be in the clear.

Can you tell this email is a scam? The main giveaway that this is from a fraudster is the horrible grammatical errors throughout the email. That's a typical calling card from scammers, spelling errors and bad grammar.

Another giveaway is the way the email begins. First, it says, "Hi, victim." If the scammer stole your personal data with malware, they would know your name and not address you generically as "victim."

Then it goes on to say this is my last warning. That would mean that you had received previous warnings, which you haven't.

It's just a poorly written, sloppy note hoping to trick people into paying. Some believe that scammers make spelling and grammatical errors intentionally. They figure if someone falls for such a horribly written message, they'll fall for anything and make for an easier target.

How to avoid falling for phishing scams

Phishing attacks have been a popular tool for scammers for quite some time now. With so many of them being sent daily, it's a good idea to be prepared to defend against them. Keep reading for suggestions.

Be cautious with links

Do not follow web links in unsolicited email messages, it could be a phishing attack. As we mentioned earlier, this phishing email is littered with spelling and grammatical errors, which is a dead give away that it's from a scammer.

One thing to watch for with phishing attacks are typos, criminals are typically careless with spelling and grammar. If you receive an email or notification from a reputable company, it should not contain typos. Take our phishing IQ test to see if you can spot a fake email.

Stop hackers from spying through your webcam

Webcam hacking is a real threat facing computer users every day. Believe me, you don't want hackers taking over your webcam and watching your every move. That's creepy!

A webcam cover is the easiest way to prevent your webcam from being used to spy on you. Simply slide it over the camera and it's all set.

You're going to love this one! There's no better webcam cover to own, this is deep blue with the Kim Komando Show logo printed on it. Just like Kim keeping you up to date on the latest in security and safety, she will now keep your webcam safe too. The best part, there's no sticky residue left on your computer and it comes with a screen cleaning pad. 

You can get your very own Kim Komando Show webcam cover for just $6.95 from the Komando Shop. Simply click the link below and your webcam will be protected from hackers in style.

Use unique passwords

Many people use the same password for multiple websites. This is a terrible mistake. If your credentials are stolen from one site and you use the same username and/or password on others, it's easy for the cybercriminal to get into each account. Click here to find out how to create hack-proof passwords.

Safeguard sensitive data

Unsuspecting people are mistakenly handing over sensitive information to scammers all too often. If you receive an unsolicited email, do not send payment or reply with personal information. You don't want it to fall into the hands of criminals.

If a company that you do business with on a regular basis emails you and asks for personal information, type the company's official web address into your browser and go there directly to be safe. And don't fall for threatening emails like this one from an unknown source that demands payment for unsubstantiated claims. It's most likely a scam.

Have a question about phishing scams or anything tech-related? Kim has your answer! Click here to send Kim a question, she may use it and answer it on her radio show.

Have a question about self-driving cars? Ask Kim! She'll have your answer. Just click here. The Kim Komando Show is broadcast on over 450 stations. Click here to find the show time in your area.

10 insider ways to keep hackers and scammers away from your private files

Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to steal your personal data. We've seen a huge uptick in the number of data breaches over the past few years. It's not always your information that the criminal is after though. Sometimes the thief is just looking to steal your gadget, for either personal use or to sell for profit.

To help you out, click here for 10 insider ways to protect yourself and your devices.

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