Do not click to open/read suspicious messages, this can open viruses. One quick way to figure things out is hit reply. Look at the email address. All real messages from those you have a connection with can be visually verified by checking the return email address. If it does not match known address, forward the whole email to their place of businesses. All banks, retail, etc have a theft address. Go to the web page and at the bottom there will be a link to CONTACT US. Fill out the form or follow their instructions.
It is important that you follow through even if you have updates daily. I use Norton Internet Security and there are daily updates against fraud. Also make sure your ISP has their detectors up and running, but understand what they do is not a total security. You must have your own fire walls and security up. My desktop has a different one than my laptop does.
By Joyce from Benson, MN
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Really excellent advice. I never click on an embedded link within an email, although I have copied and pasted a link to my web browser. I don't hit "reply," I just read the "from" field in the email header. The domain can give me a hint whether to risk trusting them or not.
Excellent advice to always be careful, but I do need to firmly mention that clicking reply to an email that is trying to lure you is not a guarantee of letting you know it's a scam or viral! :-( These creeps who come up with this nonsense, which makes our lives miserable, have it set up that an email from a person you even know shows because their address has been pirated by the creeps. The best bet is never, ever, ever click on a link within the body of a suspicious email!
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