I feel pity for “normal” (Non-Technical Savvy) people – as it is becoming ever more difficult NOT to fall a prey to trickery and lose your hard earned money.
See the below email I got recently:
I often receive many of these, especially to my company address in the USA, where these kinds of “deceptive” invoices are common and earlier used to come by US Post. Just like how a “good” monopoly game set tries to make their play money resemble the “real” money, these invoices are designed carefully to mimic the IRS (USA’s Income Tax Department) notices or the regular invoice formats that you have seen from genuine company’s like GoDaddy or Microsoft or Apple.
In this case, for an internet domain I own, this company (can I call the tricksters so?) has sent a “scary” closure notice to make me pay. The objective of the design is to make me think that it is from Domain Registrar (like GoDaddy or Verisign). Reading the really small greyed fine print at the bottom, it says that it is for an internet search optimization service that I never ordered.
The simplest step to protect yourself, when you are in doubt is to log in to the respective company’s website directly, never click on the link from the email and/or contact their support. Never initiate a dialogue with a party with whom you haven’t purchased anything.
I am surprised that this kind of attacks continues so exist, I have written about this earlier in 2011.
Also published on Medium.