Spam Alert! Be careful when Opening Email Via Your Cell Phone

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When checking my emails, I'm pretty good about verifying the source if an email looks suspicious. I know to look at the address sending the email to see if it's legit (best way to spot a false email), even when checking my email while on my cell.

This past weekend, I took a holiday away, without my laptop! (What!??_)

I know, the horror, right!?

This weekend was a long time coming and I enjoyed it to the fullest, from driving through the hardest rainstorm in a few years, to seeing a new fawn walk with it's mama doe,

(image by Ranefox Photography @ 2024)

to staying in some cool locations, eating some great food, and spending time with my girlfriend. We were due.

Two things occurred.

The first thing, which brought me to write this post about checking emails from your phone.

I have some older domains at another host, one known as 1and1.com, now known as IONOS.com.

I received an email indicating that my payment failed and I needed to log into my account to update. I clicked on the link, which took me right to the login page, yet, I did not have the login credentials with me. I knew I would have to wait until I returned home to login and check.

The 2nd thing.

In the meantime, I get a phone call on my new business phone, which I brought with me because the phone camera is excellent (Samsung S20), and a guy says, 'hey babe'! I reply, Dude, you have the wrong number. then I blocked the number.

Later, I checked the phone, and saw that this blocked number had 30 unread messages. I wondered, what the hell is going on...

Suffice it to say, I will be reporting his life-threatening behavior to the port authorities, (I was so tired by the time we got to the ferry, that I totally forgot).

The reason I wanted to report him to the port terminal rather than the Police, is that he threatened to take a particular ferry to meet up with her ti kill her and her new boyfriend.

There are only a couple of ferries that leave at the time he said he would take a ferry to meet up with her, and I can give them her name, and a couple of names to help identify him.

Of course, I did a reverse phone number search and found two different names attached to that number. One of them was more relevant due to location to the ferry terminal.

Did you know that it is a misdemeanor to threaten somebody via text message?

Punishable up to 1 year in jail.

The research provided some clues on what to do, and I unblocked the phone number to send him a text. Meanwhile, I had another 7 messages to read...

Reminded me of the movie, Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number, a 1966 film with Bob Hope, Elke Sommer and Phyllis Diller.

I sent him a message, partially repeating that I had previously told him that he had the wrong number. Then I continued to let him know that now I had ALL of his messages saved, and would submit them to the police,. I ended with - Do not reply to my text, (which he did, twice more, but I think they came through before my longer message was sent), and re-blocked his phone.

I have not heard back from him.

Oh..wait...I just checked my phone to see that I had a call about 10pm...Although his number is BLOCKED, he was able to leave a message. A real nice sweet one to his girl...

Obviously a blackout drinker...A real Dr. Jeckyl and Mr Hyde...no prob, I will turn in his texts tomorrow...

Anyway, back to checking your email by cell phone...

I arrived home, settled in and opened my laptop to investigate the domain payment issue.

I opened my mail, to the address I use, but the email wasn't there. I went to a different email, and one that is associated more with the domain, and found the email.

Red Flag # 1. The wrong email address.

However, it didn't dawn on me which email was used because I can see all of my emails on my phone for easier access. So when t wasn't until I clicked the link to log into Domain website account, that I realized what had happened....

Now, before you all go off on a tangent, grin, let me tell you that this email would have fooled Partha! The subject was on point, the body showed the proper logo, the button to click 'login' , everything looked as it is supposed to be....

Except, when I clicked the button, my email shifts to a new page, where a virus alert popped up, as I averted danger. But when I tried to click the same button, the new page did not open.

Flag #2 - The email did not open because it was flagged for having an attached virus, and by default, would not resent to same link.

However, and Flag #3, this corrupted email was not sent to the email address associated with my domain account. Instead, It was sent to another of my emails, and obvious (now) ploy to trick me into clicking a bad link...

I logged into my IONOS account to discover that all of my domains were all paid, and payment was current.

I logged out and returned to my email when it dawned on me at the same time I noticed that the email was sent to the wrong email address.

Flag# 4.

Flag $5 was the final straw, and why I'm so glad I check my emails the way I do.

For the hell of it, I hovered over the email sender address, and lo and behold, the address was not legit, a scammer really phished this email like a pro. Funny, though because that's the easiest way to check your suspicious emails...hover over the sender mail address to verify its authenticity.

Bottom line, when checking your email by cell phone, wait until you get home to check it directly from your computer.

Why?

Because you have a bigger screen to see all points of the matter, and not just a single column of info that could be hiding in plain view!

Final note, be careful what you text to others, especially of you are not in your right mind, (intoxicated, loaded or angry). Those messages acna be held against you in a court of law....(at least, they can be here in US...


Rudy




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Recent Comments

19

Fortunately, I can't open emails with my cellphone.

Hi Fran,

Yeah, emails on a phone can get messy, it
s better to read on computer!

Hope you are doing well!!

Rudy

Thanks for the warning. This happens many times a day.
Jim

You're welcome, Jim.

I too receive spam, but my filters catch most of them. But this one snuck past the gauntlet...grin.

When in doubt, hover mouse over the sender email, this will tell you who really sent the message!

Rudy

Yeah that email address identifies the sender. Thanks.
Jim

For sure, Rudy! We have to be careful what we click on using any platform. I have also been getting bogus text messages looking for me to click on a bad link.

Yep, they can be clever, that's for sure!

This one caught me off my game, grin...

Rudy

Wow, Rudy! I just delete them all the time, though I don't get many of them.

Jeff

The thing is, this email, even on my laptop screen, looked legit enough that I clicked the link.
Fortunately, my antivirus software caught it.

What alarmed me was I only use the IONOS for domains I purchased. So, when the email informed me that the payment failed, I was concerned because some of my cards had expired and/or had new exp dates...

I've received some funky looking Paypal emails that looked suspicious, and I would investigate further, and delete after reporting to PayPal.

Yet, this email was flawless in body content. It was the sending email address that gave it away.

Rudy

I certainly hope that you got it sorted out, Rudy!

Jeff

Oh yeah, all sorted out, Jeff!


Rudy

I'm very glad to hear that, Rudy!

Jeff

Me,too, Jeff!

Rudy

I'll bet, Rudy!

Jeff

Nice post Rudy, and great reminder for folks to be careful. The scammers and phishing attempts are getting more and more sophisticated by the day. I'm curious, which email client do you use on mobile? When I was working for a company, Outlook was horrible for figuring out phishing emails on mobile. But now I use Fastmail and it's much better. I can view details of the raw message header on any email, and I can "hover" over a link by long-pressing on it and the details of the underlying link will show as a popup (without actually going to the link).

Thanks!

They are getting clever, indeed.

I use mail.com mail services. They offer a lot of free services, and even more when using the paid version, which I do.

I use a number of emails, and the personalized options are niche related, like @photographer.net, or @consultant.com.

The paid version offers more in the size of storage, number of email folders, and no ads, yet both offer the same options - (see enclosed top bar image). Every so often, they offer a discounted premium, so the annual fee is $9 - $12 USD.

Rudy

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