phishing scams

If I opened an email I didn't know, could I be hacked?

Ann from Studio City, CA

Episode 1350

Ann got an email notification from Yahoo in her inbox. She had a hunch it was bogus but didn't do anything with it. Can she still get hacked if she opens it but doesn't click on any links? Leo says that a bad guy has to get her to run a program. Leo says that opening the email is relatively harmless, so long as she doesn't click on any links.

How can I tell a phony email from a legitimate one?

Michael from Newcastle, PA

Episode 1347

Mike wants to know how to tell a real email from a phishing email. Leo says to hover over any link that would send him to a website, and see if the link is legitimate. He should never click on it. If it says to install something, or even asks for a credit card, don't do it. That's usually the first sign of an intent to do something nefarious.

How can I protect myself against phishing scams in email?

Cheryl from Alexandria, VA

Episode 1280

Cheryl wants to know if she can get infected by HTML email. Leo says yes. That's why she has to be careful what links she clicks on. But since she's using an iPad, she's protected. She can't get infected on that. Apple's iOS is very secure. But it's always a good idea to train herself not to click on links. If she gets an email from her bank for instance, she should just go to her browser and go directly to the bank's website.

How can I see who is logging into my account?

Clay from Highland, CA

Episode 1253

Clay keeps getting email from Google saying someone tried to access his account with a link to say "check your devices." Leo says it may be legit, but he should never click on links in email. Instead, if he's a Gmail user, he can go the bottom of his Gmail and find a link that gives him information on who has used his account. He shouldn't ever click on a link or button embedded in his email. It could be a spoof or phishing scam. Always go straight to the source.

What should I do if I fall victim to a phishing scam?

Frank from Lemonburough

Episode 1212

Frank got fooled by a Phishing popup. He called the 800 number that was associated with it and they charged him $300 to "fix it." Leo says they were pretending to be Apple Care. It's a scam. Frank suspected chicanery and called Apple Care, who confirmed it was a scam. Leo says that's a smart thing. So he turned off the computer. He doesn't see anything wrong with his computer, but what should he do? Leo says that chances are they probably didn't get far, so Frank is probably OK.

Has my iPhone been compromised by a phishing scam?

Episode 1143

Mark from Yorba Linda, CA
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Mark has an iPhone 6 Plus, and he clicked on a link in his email from "Fedex" which he later realized was a bogus phishing scam. Leo says it's unlikely it'll impact Mark. Phishing scams are designed mostly at Windows applications and even then, unpatched versions of Windows. Since Mark is neither, it's highly unlikely anything bad will happen to his phone. But it's good that he realized it, even if it was too late. Next time he'll know beforehand.

What is the GOOG Malware folder on my computer?

Frank from Carlsbad, CA

Episode 1040

Frank has found a folder on his computer that seems to be part of Google, but also has the word malware in it. Leo says that it's Google's anti phishing file folder that's been saved from running Firefox or Chrome. It's a database of sites that are blocked when he's surfing the net. This folder is safe, but it's a good thing that Frank suspected something.