Me, Josh Withers, the guy telling everyone to get better computer security, to change their passwords, and basically instilling the fear of god into celebrants that they will probably get hacked one day soon, that guy fell victim to a scam.
It was about 4pm in the afternoon here in Mexico and I had just emptied my inbox, a noble task in 2023, and the email came in. The email that scares me the most: my main domain name’s renewal had failed due a credit card issue. The last thing I want is for our business’s website and email to fail because the domain name renewal failed.
The email looked like it came from VentraIP, the domain name and website host where most of my domain names are hosted, and it looked like every other VentraIP email.
I clicked the link and it opened in Safari on my iPhone, and that webpage looked like every other VentraIP invoice page I’d ever visited. I entered my American Express details from 1Password, and it failed. I entered my VISA details from 1Password, it failed.
Then I looked at the URL bar and immediately regret, shame, and embarrassment rained down over me. I had fallen victim to a phishing scam.
Phishing is when scammers go “fishing” for idiots like me via faked emails.
If I had noticed these three things I could have saved myself all this shame:
- The name of the sender of the email. It was VentralP, with a weird character that looks like an I but isn’t an I. Immediate giveaway to someone not in a rush.
- The email address the email was actually sent from. [email protected] is clearly not the email address VentraIP uses to email its clients.
- The domain name of the website the link took me to. gruppometodoercole.com is noticeably and undeniably different from ventraip.com.au
This was easily the stupidest thing I’ve fallen victim to in a long time and it happened because I was rushing and I thought it was important.
Luckily both of those cards are very easily locked via their respective bank apps, so if anyone tries to transact with the details I just handed over to the scammers, they can’t. I’m now just trying to figure out how to tell the banks that I screwed up and I need new cards while my aunty just sent a package from Hobart to Todos Santos, where we are in Mexico, and it took over three months.
I wonder which Aussie bank can get me a new card quicker than that?
As Abe Simpson said, it’ll happen to you!
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