Scammers targeting domain owners won’t be a new thing. Many scams start with phishing emails, which can make you panic. In this weakened state, you may immediately click on the link. From here on you are more likely to venture on and give your details to the scammers who will then steal your money. Recently, I received an email saying that my worldoweb domain had expired. On examining the email it looked pretty legit. I was almost a victim myself.
It was no ordinary phishing email because when it arrived it appeared to be from the web host I am currently with. This made it look very legitimate, which enticed me to click on it. I checked the email address that received it. This happened to be the email I use with the worldoweb domain name. I know that I created the account with a different email so that was an instant clue it wasn’t correct. I also thought back to the time I purchased my domain and knew it didn’t expire at that time of the year.
Now, if it had arrived when my domain was due to expire and to the email address associated with the account. I could have well thought it was legitimate and clicked on it.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
What to do if you receive any phishing emails and not only ones targeting site owners.
Stop, think and check before you click on any links. Sometimes phishing emails have poor grammar. Nowadays they are more sophisticated and legitimate looking. This can give you a false sense of security. This is true if you lead a hectic lifestyle or have your mind on other things. This could be illness or caring for a family member. If you are unsure, type the name of the website in your browser, rather than clicking on any links.
How easy is it to find your information?
My email is visible on this website. Data breaches generally expose user information, such as emails, phone numbers and addresses. These are available on the dark web for scammers to buy. As for my hosting company, this is available using a whois domain lookup. This gives you the details of the domain including its servers. No data on the internet can be 100% safe and we cannot trust any email, text message or phone call we receive.
Even those that are security conscious can become targets. In 2021, Jim Browning, who hosts a popular YouTube channel became a victim himself. Jim exposes scammers on his channel and would be very security minded. He believed that he was talking to a member of the YouTube creators’ support team. He deleted his YouTube channel before realising it was a scam. Although this was quite an elaborate scam it shows that anyone can be vulnerable.
I have published a few articles about my own experiences in the past. In 2017 when I was looking for temporary accommodation for 4 months before moving house. I was desperate as I had 3 weeks to find somewhere to live when I used Gumtree to seek prospective landlords. I received a message saying that a property was available. I filled out the forms and sent them back. I wasn’t aware until they asked for an upfront payment as the owner was working in England. This is when I went to view the property as it was in my local area. The house was nothing like it looked in the photos.
Always be on guard with any emails, phone calls, What’s App, or text messages. Stop, think and check. Subscribe to scam-busting websites to learn what the latest scams are. I receive a weekly email from Action Fraud and every week I see all the current new scams in circulation. Make sure you report any suspicious activity to banks and telephone/email providers. Educate the elderly, who are more likely to fall victim to scams. Stay safe folks!