spoofing

Did I get a scam telephone call?

Episode 1436

Melissa from Nashville, TN
Man Yelling at Phone

Melissa keeps getting phone calls saying they're from AT&T and that their account had been suspended. Leo says that's the latest scam. They'll even spoof AT&T's number! And after the first of the year, it'll be the IRS. They'll want to scare her so she can act without thinking. They'll then ask for her date of birth, social security number (which is illegal to ask for) and once they have all that, they have her.

Why am I getting a ton of bounced messages from people I don't know?

Episode 1433

Vic from San Diego, CA
Gmail

Vic is bombarded by email addresses that an email can't be delivered. Leo says that Vic's email has been "spoofed" by spammers and that they have been using his in the From address line. The bad news is that there's really nothing he can do about it. The good news is, it usually stops shortly as they move on to another email address to spoof. He can set up a filter to send those emails to the trash and never see them, though. He should use "Mailer Daemon" as the criteria. That's usually what sends the bounced spam message.

Has my email been hacked?

Episode 1413

Joe from Covina, CA
Hacker

Joe gets emails from his brother and vice versa telling them to go to another site. Leo says that's a phishing scam using spam to do it. It's likely that the return address has been spoofed. We've seen this happen often with users of Yahoo mail.

ScooterX in the chatroom says that whoever clicks on the link in the email sends the same email to others in their contact list. So it may be that both have clicked on that link and sent it out.

How can I stop my phone number getting spoofed by spammers?

Episode 1402

Shannon from Wayne, NE
Phone key pad

Shannon is having issues with his neighbors getting a lot of robocalls from his number. Leo says that's called Neighbor Spamming and it's illegal. They can easily spoof his phone number in the caller ID to do it. But since it's done from overseas, there's no real way to stop it legally. The only saving grace is that it will move on to another number eventually.

Has my email address been hacked?

Matt from Sacramento, CA

Episode 1311

Matt has a friend who uses Yahoo exclusively and his account has been compromised. Leo says bounce backs happen to all of us. It's called spam scatter. Spammers don't use their return address -- they spoof it with someone else's address. He just got his email selected by the spammer and there's nothing he can do about it. The good news is that sooner or later, they'll move on to a different address.

How can I stop telemarketers?

Alexander from Georgia

Episode 1268

Dan has been getting a ton of telemarketing and robocalls lately. Is there a service that will filter them out so he doesn't have to deal with it? Leo says that Google Voice has great call screening and blocking utilities -- and it's free. Leo also says there's a new service called the Jolly Roger Telephone Company that has fun with telemarketers on your behalf.

Other options for screening calls include:

How can I see who is logging into my account?

Clay from Highland, CA

Episode 1253

Clay keeps getting email from Google saying someone tried to access his account with a link to say "check your devices." Leo says it may be legit, but he should never click on links in email. Instead, if he's a Gmail user, he can go the bottom of his Gmail and find a link that gives him information on who has used his account. He shouldn't ever click on a link or button embedded in his email. It could be a spoof or phishing scam. Always go straight to the source.