Monday, September 07, 2020

How to Spot a Scam

 Dear Readers,

There is a new video for your working day at home, on the previous post.

As I have been talking recently to you about reading comprehension and life comprehension, I thought it would be a good time to share with you something I have saved from my email, as a lesson.

See if you can find the spelling errors in this letter. If you can't at first, find the nearest 8-year old, who might be a bit more alert.  I found myself mentally correcting the spelling and ignoring it upon my first reading. 

Spot a couple of grammatical errors, too.

Also look for punctuation errors, such as common words beginning with a capital inside a sentence.

See if you can spot the business errors--things no legitimate business would say in a customer letter.

See if you can detect the expressions that are not generally used in the US.

Have fun looking, and possibly use this as a spelling error lesson.

This also is a good letter to look at, as a warning , since it is one that is commonly being sent around by email to trick people into giving up their information.

You can also look up the company name and find out if it is legitimate, which is something you should always do.

Dear Customer,

Thanks for using Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. This is an important notification. The Subscription has been Auto Renewed for 2 years & Your account has been Pre Authorised for $299.99

It has been auto Renewed as per E-Sign Agreement Singed by You at the TIme of registration. Thank you for the Completion of your 1 year.

We tried to contact you on your registered number for queries but could not get through

Payment Information

Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection
Fire Wall & Network Protection




P.S if you did not place this order then Please call us to Support Team on+1 855-361-4720

(claims Department) Kindly ignore if aleardy claimed.

You have 24 hrs to refund this charge from the date of the transaction without being charges.

Our support team will gladly assist you with any questions or requests you may have – simply contact us through our dedicated channels:

It may take a few hours for this transaction to appear in your account.

The Billing Team

+1 855-361-4720

This Email was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming email.please do not reply to this message


Maggie said...

I'm pretty tech savvy, but some emails look pretty legit, so I always check to see what the email address is. (Just click on the name in the "from" box above the heading.) Nine times out of 10, it's pretty obvious it's not tied to a legitimate company's server. And I'm also suspect when an email comes from an address that includes a yahoo, gmail, msn, etc. type address. If a company wants to look like a "big boy" company, they need to get a website that allows them to have email boxes to send and receive emails. (Really, it's not *that* expensive.) Also, most US companies will not put a "+1" in from of the the phone number. That's an international thing. I used to work for a Danish company and we had to use the country codes in our emails because it was a global company with the emails going around the world. Just thought I'd point out a couple other things to check....

Lydia said...

Maggie, the first thing my mind registered were the words "do not reply" and the address came up "no reply". And upon further looking, the company online is listed as a fake.

Lydia said...

Im also suspicious when a so called business writes that you only have 24 hours to respond before the deal is final, and then says "cheers". No one in the US signs business letters like that.

Lydia said...

There are many spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes in that letter.

Lydia said...

Capital letters of common words in the first sentence.

Second sentence has nearly all words capitalized. The spelling for "signed" is wrong--it is spelled "singed" instead.

Third sentence not completed with a full stop; period mark.

One sentence says "without being charges" instead of "charged".

The closing "Cheers" is never ever used in a business letter in the US.

While starting most all the words in the letter with a capital, the sentence in this phrase lacks a capital at the beginning and no period at the end.

"This Email was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming email.please do not reply to this message"

Christine said...

We had a company tell us (more like threaten us), "We will be calling the COPS!"
Who would use the word "COPS"?
If it doesn't sound right, look right or smell isn't!

Lydia said...

Christine, terminology is a clue, too!

Lydia said...

I believe the word “authorised” in the first paragraph should be spelled with a “z”.

Elaina Umanzor said...

“Authorized” is the British or “Old English” spelling. Many words are different between the USA and GB. For example: humor, humour; gray, grey; color, colour; and many, many more words.

Lydia said...

Elaina: Well said, but then, if it is a British spelling, it is a clue that it isn’t a US person writing the letter, and that means the letter probably has no authority here in the US. But even if that word is correctly spelled, there are other glaring punctuation and grammar errors to make the recipient of this letter question it’s validity.

Elaina Umanzor said...

You are so right! I get a lot of banking/credit card scam emails; not to mention the Nigerian “Prince” type. I used to forward them to the legitimate company each time, but I noticed every time I did, I would be inundated with even more scam emails. Now I just mark them as spam/junk - usually without even opening them. They sure spend a lot of time and effort to steal from others.

MollyTrolley said...

It's sad that enough people fall for those scams as to make it worthwhile for an entire industry to exist simply to create the scams. Hope you and Mr. Sherman are safe from the fires, which seem to be awfully close to you now.

Emmarinda said...

That was the first tip-off for me. That is the British way of spelling many words that we spell with a "z" (realize, sympathize, etc). Combined with the many errors that would be following, as you had forewarned us in your post, it is obvious that the writer's first language is not English, but he has learned English under a British system. That puts his location somewhere in the Middle East or Asia, most likely India or Pakistan or a former British colony in Africa.

Lydia said...

Why are so many words capitalized in this letter? I vaguely recall that the very first English was written that way and have seen in in an old document similar to the Constitution or some other thing. Later on this custom was dropped and the capital letter was limited to the beginning of sentences and proper nouns (people and places, deity).