Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Tips for seniors on how to detect e-mail scams

Yesterday's Tribune had a front-page story by staff writer Sona Patel about how law officers on the North Coast are seeing a rise in people trying to scam senior citizens out of their money. Reader Thomas Hutchings offered these additional tips that are useful:

"The Tribune had an important story for seniors. It was about internet email scams. The reporter should have included tips for everyone about reporting the fraud directly. When I receive these scams/phishing/fraudulent emails, I use my mouse to scroll over, without clicking, to see the address where the link goes to. It shows an address that goes to a non-financial related site. With paypal or ebay scams, I simply forward the dubious email to or They work to immediately shut the website down. I also get emails allegedly from my bank. Simply scrolling over the link shows a different address. I send those emails to fraud@(my banks name here). I then delete all the emails without clicking on links. It would be responsible reporting for the Tribune to post legitimate email addresses to report/forward fraudulent emails.
As a suggestion, a followup article on a few simple tips to spot a phony email and email addresses of security at several major financial instititions, such as BofA, Wells Fargo, Wachovia, eBay, PayPal, etc. It could be something that seniors could post next to their computers for immediate reference."

Mr. Hutchings, thanks for the good tips. I will send your story idea to our City Desk. Anyone else want to offer some useful advice?
_ Tad Weber

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