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The Google Phishing Test

Phishing is where scammers send you emails or texts or use bad websites to pretend to be someone you trust or an organisation you would trust, in order to get your confidential information such as login and password or account information, birth date etc.

Google has created a test to let you experience receiving phishing messages and see how you react.

It asks for your name and email address but suggests you make these up as they are not intended to be real.

It shows a set of 8 examples on screen one at a time and gives enough information for you to be identify each as phishing or legitimate and after you have chosen, for each it explains why to trust or not to trust the example.

This is a great and easy way to teach people what to look for in incoming messages to identify them as legitimate or dodgy.

The vast majority of scam messages are obviously fake if you just take note of who is sending it and why.

But some scammers do put in the effort to make their scam messages look authentic and it can be tricky to be sure if those messages are real or fake.

If in doubt – don’t open the message – contact the organisation or person directly i.e. look up their contact details and don’t count on anything in a message being real.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Stupidest Spam of the Week Professional Listings

Yippee! Who’s Who in America say I have been nominated as a biographical candidate for the next edition and the first phase of my assessment has been passed.

They say they obtain information from executive listings and professional listings but I need to complete my profile for the next step.

Most people use social media and website entries etc. for looking up information on professional people rather than searching Who’s Who or anything similar. Their day ended when we all moved online.

The sales pitch in the email is laughable.

E.g. “the biographical data comes from the most authoritative source – the biographees themselves”.

That means people can make up whatever they want for inclusion, so that sentence dooms the publication to be a fantasy document.

The whole thing is just a Marketing exercise – trying to get personal information from people then charging for a high profile inclusion in their publication rather than a standard entry.

The message sender doesn’t even know my name – the message starts with ‘Dear Valued Candidate’.


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Time-Wasters Update

Medic Feet” the new solution to any pain problem. Use the magic of acupuncture but without needles. You just wear these special sandals and all pain will vanish.  There’s lots of sandals on the market with pressure bumps that stimulate acupuncture points and it’s possible they will help some people’s circulation etc. but they cannot be honestly described as the solution to all pain. Never buy from idiots who promise far too much. 

A typical phishing email arrives titled “Attn: Verify Your Records”. It claims that’s due to Equifax’s latest security breach, my records have been compromised and I must login to verify. The email is from which is obviously not Equifax. No thanks.

The Bible Has Cracked The Code for Longer Life”. There are lots of these crackpot emails aimed at Bible believers and this one says the bible mentions a specific nutrient that inhibits aging and can reverse todays deadliest diseases. You just have to click the link to get full details. Typical brainless rubbish.

There seems to be a permanent battle in the USA between those wanting everyone to have open access to firearms and those who want more controls on who and when people can have such weapons.  A latest set of emails exhort people to take out a concealed weapons permit before the government makes it more difficult. The email explains that anyone can fill in the fast track online form and will get a concealed weapons permit unless they are an illegal drug user or have a criminal record.  Is it really that easy? Who knows? But it is madness to try to push people to get further into weapons use without very good reason.

A new summer heat busting portable AC device claims to be taking the United States by storm.  And of course you need to get one before they are sold out. Some of these messages are just spam adverts by people who have bought up a batch of portable AC device but many are scams – no products to sell, just someone who wants your name, address and credit card information. Only buy from reputable sources.

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The Dropbox Fake Message Scam

Most email services have a maximum message size you can send and sometimes limits on attached file sizes. This is generally only a problem if you’re trying to send video clips but can occur if you want to send a group of high resolution pictures for example or a series of large documents.

Yahoo and Gmail limit is 25MB per message

Outlook limit is 20 MB but Office 365 expands considerably on this.

Paid for email services and business email systems may have much higher maximum message sizes or even no limit in some cases.

  1. What to do when you want to email a very large file

Services like Dropbox have been created to solve this problem.

It is very efficient – you simply upload a file to Dropbox (or a similar service) using your free or paid for account and effectively send a link to the recipient and they can then download the file without filling up your or their email folders.

The Dropbox fake message scam depends on people being used to receiving these Dropbox messages and clicking to download the file.

Scammers upload a piece of malware disguised as an invoice or holiday template or some other document then send out Dropbox links to that document to a spam email list in hope at least some of the recipients will download and open the malware file.

If you receive a Dropbox file from someone you know and you expected the file, then fine.

If it’s from a person you know but didn’t expect a file, then contact them to see if the file is genuine.

But if it’s from someone you don’t know – then do not download whatever it is.

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Stupidest Spam of the Week Magic Invention

The Elite Thought They Have Destroyed All of The Evidence of This Device” is the title of a recent email campaign (I assume the grammatical error is deliberate).  It is yet another conspiracy theory based scam as these seem to be very popular, especially in the USA.

The message goes on about how the mystery assistant of the inventor realised the secret of the device on his deathbed.

Some scammers love the dramatic touch.

Then comes the conspiracy part – the device was censored from the beginning and the government burned all of the records regarding it, publicly.

It’s a strange image – of government lackies publicly burning records.

Plus, when the inventor tried to send a piece of the device out of state, he was sentenced to two years in prison, so it is claimed.

All fantasy of course and no-one with an IQ about that of a frog should believe any of it.

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Time-Wasters Update

Even Oxford and Cambridge doctors were alarmed when they saw this”.  A typical scammer’s opening gambit to get people interested or worried enough to click the link in the email which supposedly shows why washing your hands doesn’t protect you against Coronavirus and  instead you have a take a newly released group of ingredients that cleanses you from the inside.  Utter rubbish of course from a spammer paid to get you to click their link.

Yet another Coronavirus scam – this one claims “World Coronavirus Alert: Free Face Masks”. So, Laura Moore has thousands of such masks to give away to anyone who wants them. There are of course charities and individuals who do give away masks to health workers, care workers and members of the public. But this email is just a simple scam. It’s from which is obviously a meaningless made-up name and the .rest extension is supposed to be a restaurant. These pathetic losers try to take advantage of anyone in need. 

Another conspiracy theory message arrives. “EMERGENCY EMAIL Pandemic Survival”. This one has a long boring explanation of exponential growth that’s taken from a child’s book.  Then a story about a National Guardsmen who knows the secret truth about Coronavirus and will share it even though it’s likely to lead to his death. Clearly this scammer likes the dramatic touch. Some people want to believe any random rubbish. 

I shared this 7 second ritual with one of my clients a couple of months ago. She had been struggling with her weight all her life, but when she started this ritual, she had fast weight loss from her hips, thighs, face and arms.”. There is a link to click of course to see the evidence. But of course there is no evidence as the whole thing is a fantasy created by a scammer trying to sell you something that doesn’t exist.

High Returns Algorithm Investment Of Up To 28%”. This flood of emails is just a standard fake investment scam. Ignore such messages.

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