Just another scammer looking to ruin my day

I received an email today from MetLife, or at least a scammer phishing for my information posing as MetLife. Here is how I know this is a scammer looking to ruin my day. 

Warning #1. I don't have an account with them. 

I don't have a policy with them, so I found it interesting that they wanted to let me know that they had "detected irregular activities" with my account. If you do have a policy with a company sending you an email take a look at my other warnings to make sure it is authentic. 

Warning #2. I wasn't expecting an email from them. 

Maybe I don't have an account with MetLife, but what if I had been talking to a representative or friend who worked for MetLife. Even if I had a policy with MetLife, was I expecting their email? If the answer is no, you should suspect that the email isn't legitimate. 

Phishing Email Scam

Warning #3. Grammar doesn't seem correct. 

This is harder to pick up on and isn't always a good indicator. Sometimes the grammar is perfect, but in this case, you can see that they made a mistake. The word "this" instead of "these" indicates singular instead of plural. The next word, "activities", is the plural form of activity. A natural English speaker would use "these activities" instead of "this activities". Sorry for the English lesson, but If you do see grammar issues it should cause you to suspect that this email isn't legitimate. 

Phishing and hacking email sppo

Issue #4. The sender doesn't match the email.

Scammers can spoof an email address. Sometimes I even get emails spoofed to look as though they came from If you want to check who the email came from, simply hover over the email address. The spoofed email address may show up, so the next step is to click on the down arrow which will "Open Contact Card".

Phishing email from MetLife 1

Now that the contact card is open I can see who the email came from. Louise@xxxxxreative.com to not seem to be the same as no-replys@metlife.com. I've actually blurred out part of the email address because I'm guessing the poor soul whose email address is shown here has no idea that they are being used by the scammer. My hunch is that the scammer dropped some malware on Louise's server or computer and that Louise has no idea that emails like this are being sent in her name. 

Metlife Email Phishing Sa

Issue #5. The link doesn't match the information.

When a scammer wants you to click on a malicious link they aren't going to put up a warning sign. They are going to make it look legitimate and tag it with something innocent like "Get started". An easy step to take is to simply hover over the link or button and wait for your system to tell you where the link really goes. In this case, fashionbyadi dot com / lights. Doesn't seem like a MetLife link to me.

MetLife email phishing scam 1

Here is the recap on how to spot a malicious email. 
1. I don't have an account with them.
2. I wasn't expecting an email from them.
3. Grammar doesn't seem correct. 
4. The sender doesn't match the email.
5.  The link doesn't match the information.

What if you get an email from a friend or co-worker that seems suspicious? If you have the slightest feeling that an email might be suspicious, call the person and ask them if they sent you that email. Scammers can spoof email addresses from co-workers and friends, too. 

What if I click an email and infect my computer? Work with a quality cloud computing provider, like SEN Technologies, who you can trust to protect your system and restore your system from backups, should something occur. 

Malware Attack Across the Globe

Today, there is a large-scale cyber attack affecting nearly one hundred countries and has held tens of thousands of computers ransom throughout the day.  You can read more here: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/national-health-service-cyberattack-hits-english-hospitals-hackers-demand-bitcoin-n758516

Today your data is secured in SEN Technology’s cloud, which is protected by redundant and distributed systems. We have built systems to ensure our customers are secure, but most small and mid-size businesses are far from secure. You may have noticed that these attacks are becoming more widespread and more severe every time. It’s horrific. 

Please forward this email to your vendors and partners and make them aware. We would be delighted to send them information on hardening their security profile or help them choose the right hosted virtual desktop environment. Your environment is secure, but what happens if your suppliers or customers are taken offline due to malicious malware?

We want to help, even if that means giving free information and direction. It’s avoidable. 


 

Small Business Success in the Cloud

The small business economy is changing. There is no denying it. In order to get a better understanding of these changes, Emergent Research and Intuit partnered together on a series of reports on the small business ecosystem.

The initial report is entitled “Small Business Success in the Cloud” and describes the impact of cloud technology as it is progressively adapted by more and more small businesses. Additionally, the report calls out the following trends:

Socio-economic uncertainty: Demographic, economic and social shifts are leading to fewer “good jobs” and increasing job insecurity, pushing more people to consider self-employment or small business ownership.

Technology: new infrastructure is enabling new business models, making it easier to reach and serve niche markets and fundamentally changing cost structures.

Platforms and Marketplaces: The growing number and growing use of marketplaces are enabling new forms of small business and allowing many more people to start full and part-time small businesses.

Customer Needs: Consumers are now more interested in supporting local businesses as well as buying unique and/or customized products.

These shifts are touching everyone at all points in the economy. It is a time of both great anxiety and great opportunity. There is both less security and more freedom.

In this new landscape, many people are re-imagining the idea of small businesses to create new, innovative models that work for their needs. The result is something we call The New Entrepreneurial Mindset.