Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Fighting the Phishers

 We've all gotten them - the phishes.  The email about a purchase on your Amazon account that doesn't exist, with a link that doesn't lead to Amazon.  And others.  Now they've found my cell phone number and they're texting me with phishes.  In the last 2 days I've gotten 2 texts that claimed to be about my EBT card.  (For the non-Californians - EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer; and an EBT card is basically a debit card you can use to buy food.  It's also called CalFresh, and SNAP, and it's food stamps.  I don't have one.)

Well, at the end of the '90s, I was working in the data center of a major bank, and I was the team lead of the group that set up the bank's first SMTP server, which allowed email exchanges with the rest of the internet.  I saw the first phishes develop, lousy spelling and all.  I've watched them get weirder, but there's always something that isn't right.  In the texts about my EBT card (which doesn't exist), the phone number to call was not the phone number you get when you go to the EBT site.  

I decided to be a good citizen and make sure they knew they were being phished, so I called the real number and waded through the menus until I got a human.  When I told her, you're being phished, she said grimly, "We know."  (If you look at their main page, there's a big "Beware of Scams" notice.)  So I said, OK, I just wanted to make sure you knew, and I hope you catch the bastards.  

There was a brief pause, and she answered in the least "official" tone you could imagine, "You are so right, sister, and I hope they put them underneath the jail!"

I hope I made her day.

No comments:

Post a Comment