Noun: The fraudulent practice of sending e-mails purporting to be from legitimate companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as credit-card numbers, online.
Have you ever gotten an email from someone claiming to be a Nigerian prince trying to smuggle money out of the country, or the administrator of the South Sudanese lottery commission?
The emails tend to be similar. You’ve won the lottery, but need to pay the transfer fee and applicable taxes before the money can be sent, and by the way, they need your checking account information to transfer the money out of your account. Or, the elderly wife of the Reverend Saint Whateverhisnameis has the entireGDPof some small African country in her bank account that her dear, departed husband stole honestly, and she needs a trustworthy soul in the States to accept the transfer and your reputation proceeds you.
Yeah, people still fall for it. It’s called Financial Darwinism. Only the strong shall retire.
Yesterday(as of this writing, not as of your reading), I got my first-ever phishing phone call.
The conversation went something like this:
Worthless scum scammer: Hello, you’re schedule to receive a delivery at10:30 this morning and I need to verify your information.
Me: What delivery?
WSS: Is this Linda, L-I-N-D-A?
Me: Yes. (Please note, I am very much a guy and clearly sound like it.)
WSS: You buy international. I’m scheduling delivery. Are you at (lists house number correctly, but no street or city).
Me: What’s getting delivered?
WSS: A brand new Mercedes.
At this point, I wanted to play, but I had to get to work, so I hung up.
Worried that I may have made the wrong decision, I called my wife to see if she made a side trip to buy a luxury car while she was running errands last week, but she said she didn’t. I’m not sure I believe her. I think that it may have just slipped her mind.
It’s worrisome that some scammer call-center in Nigeria is buying lists of potential marks in theUS and calling them. I much prefer my scammers to send emails.
Have you ever gotten a 419 phone call?