Spam emails and phone calls

It has now come to the point when it is almost impossible to tell a spam / malicious / phising email from the real thing (unless of course you don’t have an account etc with the company allegedly sending the email). The days of poorly photocopied headed paper and bad spelling are gone.

In recent days we’ve had four emails from BT (we don’t use them) enclosing our latest bill. All were for differing amounts, which wouldn’t be strange for BT, but on close examination the emails actually came from “btt.ru” which was well hidden in email information but incorrect for UK BT, who are “bt.com”. The “.ru” extension indicates a domain name registered in the Russian Federation.

Other regular contributors are “Apple”, “HMRC”, “Barclays”, “Santander”, “Lloyds Bank” and “Microsoft”.

The usual rule of thumb is to treat these emails with extreme suspicion, don’t click on any links contained in them, and also don’t open any attachments. Delete the email, and if possible block the senders domain. This will limit the amount of spam received for a short time until the spammers switch to using a different domain, when it all starts again.

Another problem are telephone calls from banks and other institutions who once they have called then want you to confirm your identity with them. I have a problem with this, as they have phoned me, asked for me by name, and then want my personal details without any confirmation of who they are.  There have been several frank exchanges of views over this.

Our advice is to treat all email, telephone or text communications with the utmost suspicion, and to delete or ignore anything you are even vaguely unsure of. Sadly it has come to this, but better to be safe than sorry.

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