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The letters appear to be legitimate. Right down to the corporate logo and rather stiff language.
It COULD be real. It sure looks good. Hhhmmmm……
Let's check with, of all people, Smith Barney:
[NOTE: From the REAL Smith Barney Asset Management Group website]SunTrust Bank, Citigroup, Citizen's Bank and many others have been the subject of these phishing expeditions by SPAMMERS. They all have information on their websites about how they DO NOT send out emails like this. If you want to check to see if your bank just might be sending you email, your bank statement or one of their advertisements will have their actual website address on it or you could search in Google or MSN for their address. DO NOT click on anything in the SPAM!
- Smith Barney will never send you an e-mail asking for your passwords, credit or debit card numbers, or other sensitive information.
- If we request information from you, we'll always direct you back to a Smith Barney site using links. These are for your convenience - you can also reach our site using your bookmarks or any of our published URLs.
- If you're required to enter personal information to perform a transaction, it's always done on a site secured with SSL technology - you can tell because there'll be a padlock icon at the bottom of your screen. Most important, if you click on the padlock, a security certificate will pop up. In it, there's a section that says "Issued to:" If it's really a Smith Barney site, then the URL will end in "smithbarney.com."
- You will always be asked to log onto the site before any other information is requested from you on a subsequent screen.
The Federal Trade Commission is collecting these things for action. Please forward yours to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the FTC.gov site for their online submission form.
For more information, phone numbers, links, and addresses visit the National Fraud Information Center http://fraud.org and the Federal Trade Commission FTC.gov
links will open in new window
Text of SPAM below. See further notes below the SPAM.
To: DrLeftover@ (address deleted) .com
Subject: SMITH BARNEY STRONGLY RECOMMENDS
Dear Smith Barney customer,
Technical services of the Smith Barney are carrying out a planned software upgrade. We earnestly ask you to visit the following link to start the procedure of confirmation of customers' data.
[link deleted by Media Desk webmaster]
This instruction has been sent to all Smith Barney customers and is obligatory to follow.
Customers support service
But then, just below the graphics is the old SPAMMER trademark of nonsense filler words (to reveal them on the email, hold down the left mouse button at the very bottom of the email just above the 'reply' buttons in your program and move the pointer up, turning the message body blue). Since the above message is a graphic instead of inline text, it would appear blank to many email programs, and then be trashed. To avoid that, the SPAM generating programs insert random words and phrases. Sometimes, they are quite hilarious.
when were you born? Shania Twain How are you? BMW It's impossible I see eye to eye Gladiator Here is my You'd better go Skateboarding Robert Blake Samsung wait for? I'm sorry On the whole Golden Globes Peterson case Outlaw Star The British Open in 1941 Census a When you The American student you are stupid pretty much.
ONCE AGAIN…. Do not click on SPAM. Do not REPLY to it. Forward it to the Federal Trade Commission or other authority, or just DELETE IT!
Fighting a unilateral SPAMWAR for you- Dr Leftover
New Resource! Nov 06 the PHISHTANK www.phishtank.com tracks Phishing attempts and the sites that support them.
More on Phishing
to the Desk's Urban Legend page
The Media Desk