Yesterday my Spam folder on G-mail contained a message purportedly from the Fulton Bank (where I do happen to have an account) The text looked a bit amateurish, full of subtle errors (awkward wording, failed word-wrap, etc. Still, the Bank’s legitimate site itself has provided not one but two Xanga Posts on today’s modern on-line duh-less-ness.
1) They loudly trumpeted “Less Clicks!!” as the thrilling feature of some page make-over: Well, I think you learn in third grade that countables are ‘fewer’ and pourable shit like…um… Stupidity can be either More! or Less!
2) No sooner had they clicked that campaign off into the cyber-trashcan then here comes a ‘typical’ photo of a ‘typical’ happy customer on their new Banner: a black fellow, kinda pudgy,
holding his cute li’l daughter. Problem was, you moused-over the pix and saw a pop-up of the
(in-house?) name-tag: “mother and daughter“(!)
Ok, so on that shaky background I was ready to accept a not-ready-for-prime-time email.
Take a quick look at the thing, and decide whether you might have fallen for it. Try to pretend
you’re me, a guy who grew up trusting everyone, and who was taught to do what the suit-coats say, even if it is kinda unintelligible.
But I’m growed-up now so this time I did the following:
1) Tried to sign into my Fulton account, using the shortcut I have on my very own Desktop….and got a weird half-rendered torn-up page I’ve never seen before telling me my account may have been locked. It wanted my user-name, about which I modestly kept silent at that point and clicked out…
2) Google searched ‘Fulton Bank spam email‘ something like that. One of the first results took me right back to the bogus(?) sign-in page I’d just escaped! Major plot-thickening-ness.
Cup of coffee, then:
3) Searched the supposed link hypertexted into the suspect email, and bingo, a report from the UK of the identical message and link. From a couple years ago. The poster,a volunteer who I assume never even heard of Fulton Bank luckily pointed out that the link was ‘spoofed’. Now I was doubly glad I hadn’t dreamed of clicking on it.
4) Back to G-mail and my Spam Files. I mouse-over-ed the link and ‘Print-Screen-ed the display. Sure enough, the greasy dirtball had stuck the real name of the dirty target down there where the wary could easily see it. Guess I ain’t wary. I hadn’t noticed the discrepancy, even though I usually do check when folks link to stuff with only the words ‘go here’ and ‘there’.
Anyway, the point of this public service post is..um.. be warned.
And maybe it’s instructive to reveal a bit of my own naivety once in a while. A Safe Surf, and
Happy Rosh Hashanah tomorrow/ JS