What is phishing? Phishing is the illegal practice of obtaining sensitive information, such as your account number, password, credit card or bank account numbers, etc.  Unfortunately, occasionally the victim of email scammers who seek to trick our customers into sharing confidential personal details that the scammers can then use to defraud the customers. It usually works like that: you receive an e-mail from a well-known brand, and then you are “tempted” to click on a link, or share your account information.  What to look for? Below are a few pointers in order to protect yourself against phishing e-mails:

  • Unprofessional emails with grammatical or spelling errors
  • Free money offers that do not require you to do anything
  • Links that look valid but take you to a spoof address. Do not click on any links that look suspicious
  • E-mails requesting you to share your Secure ID or password

My Story

When you think it will never happen to you is when you are most vulnerable. This week I posted a add on Gumtree and received an Whatsapp message less than an hour regarding the ad. I was surprised to get a response so quickly. The person send message that said that he was interested in purchasing the bike and if I could contact him on his gmail account. This was a bit strange for me because why did he not use his Gumtree account to contact me.

I contacted him and he gave me a soppy story about that he is working on the rigs and want to purchase the bike for his cousin. This sounded very admirable. After a bit of communication back and forth he started with the ‘issue’. Because he is on the rig, he uses a Neteller account to transfer money. Neteller is a portal for people to send money for purchases. I did not know at that time what it was used for, but after a bit of research it was a legit company and is setup in such a way that it protects the buyer and seller. I registered a account on Neteller (that is free). I then provided him with my email address that I registered so that he can make the transfer. This is where everything that sounded legit stopped. Next he responded that he needs to pay a ‘ pick up agent ‘ to facilitate the transport of the bike. He paid me a additional R1450 for shipping that needs to be payed to the ‘ pick up agent ‘. I received the following email..

This money needs to be transferred with e-wallet. This is where the alerts started to go off. I then started to investigate.

  1. I realized that when I registered on Neteller, I received a email from ‘noreply@neteller.com’ to say that my account has been registered and is successful, but I received a email from the ‘pick up agent’ on ‘netellerfunds@accounts.com’.
  2. I logged into the Neteller account and checked the history. There was NOTHING!!! If there was any pending payments that had to be cleared it would have been displayed.
  3. He insisted that Neteller is there to protect buyer and seller, but if you think about it, if you do a e-wallet money transfer to a 3rd party then you are not protected by Neteller.
  4. I told the ‘pick up agent’ that this is a scam. The buyer contacted me a few minutes later and told me that he was notified by the ‘pick up agent’ that I said the buyer was busy with a scam. He said that I should trust him and that he is a God fearing man. My response was that I don’t know him and that I am not comfortable going ahead.
  5. I logged this with the scam/fraud department of Neteller and send them the emails I received from the ‘pick up agent’ for them to investigate.

In a situation in this, it is a good idea to keep a cool head and read the communications thoroughly. As soon as either parties becomes agressive, walk away. If either parties has a little voice at the back of their heads telling them that something is a miss…. WALK AWAY.

Tips to decrease your chances to become part of the statistics

  1. When dealing with online classifieds like Gumtree and Bid-or-Buy, it is not a good idea to use whatapp. Rather use the facilities supplied by these online portals. They have emails and messaging facilities. This is for your protection. The buyer must use a login account to use these facilities and it will create a paper trail to protect buyer and seller.
  2. If you can, insist on CASH ON DELIVERY.
  3. EFT is a bit more risky. The buyer could make the purchase and the seller could just disappear with the money or the buyer could send a fake proof of payment.
  4. Be more careful when users have gmail, yahoo, live and hotmail accounts. These addresses is more difficult to track and is a widely used service by criminals.
  5. Don’t let the buyer insist on how he want to pay you. Stand your ground and you, the seller, determine it.
  6. When the buyer change the arrangement in such a way that you need to pay for the transport cost, walk away…. fast.

In this day and age it is unfortunate that everyone can’t be trusted so as the criminals become smarter in the way they bamboozle us out of our hard earned money. We need to be more vigilant when doing transactions. Don’t become part of the statistics.

Find Email Address Source

In the following steps you’ll learn how to find and copy an email header and paste it into the Trace Email Analyzer to get the sender’s IP address and track the source.

Would you like to track down (or trace) where an email that you received came from?

This Trace Email tool can help you do precisely that. It works by examining the header that is a part of the emails you receive to find the IP address. If you read the IP Lookup page, you’ll get a clear idea of what information an IP address can reveal.

(A header is the unseen part of every sent and received email. To learn a little bit more on headers, click here. You can see an example of a header at the end of this article.)

What email provider do you use?

To find the IP address of a received email you’re curious about, open the email and look for the header details. How you find that email’s header depends on the email program you use. Do you use Gmail or Yahoo? Hotmail or Outlook?

For example, if you’re a Gmail user, here are the steps you’d take:

  1. Open the message you want to view
  2. Click the down arrow next to the “Reply” link
  3. Select “Show Original” to open a new window with the full headers

Note: We are in the process of compiling instructions from a variety of popular webmail services and email applications. In the meantime, if you have a question about your email provider, please post it in the Email Tracing Forum.

STEPS TO TRACING AN EMAIL:

  1. Get instructions for locating a header for your email provider here
  2. Open the email you want to trace and find its header
  3. Copy the header, then paste it into the Trace Email Analyzer below
  4. Press the “Get Source” button
  5. Scroll down below the box for the Trace Email results!

You should know that in some instances people send emails with false or “forged” headers, which are common in spam and unwanted or even malicious e-mail. Our Trace Email tool does not and cannot detect forged e-mail. That’s why that person forged the header to begin with!