… I click on one of those links which people insist on sending me in their e-mails. I think that you know the sort of mails I am talking about, those which are classified as being:
Most of us get them at one time or another and, once you’ve got one, you know that you’re going to get even more.
Here in Germany it is just the same as anywhere else: tens of mails sent out to us hit the filter every single day – just tens if you’re lucky. Having a complicated or hidden mail address does tend to help a little bit, but eventually someone is going to figure it out and add you to a list, or the famous dictionary attacks will finally reach that address beginning with seventeen Zs a string of 9s and symbols which have nothing to do with the alphabet. It is just a question of time. I’m lucky enough, at the moment, to only get about ten spam mails a day although – perhaps something to be proud of? – this blog has rejected or caught over five thousand spam comments. I always figured popularity as being something else!
And such things have hit the news in Germany once again, as several people near here have admitted to clicking on links they’ve received in mails or, worse still, giving out their banking information. Are there really still people who believe that the Postbank in Germany is going to send you a mail saying your bank account has been compromised and temporarily blocked, it will be released when you give your bank account number and password into this form?
Sadly, yes, there are. They complain about financial loss later on, when their account has been plundered and, of course, it is entirely the bank’s fault. And there are still a few people here, despite many reports in newspapers about the dangers, who give out their bank details to anyone who telephones them.
A wonderful case hit the local headlines recently. A woman was telephoned – cold call, even though these are illegal – and told she had won (!) a year’s free subscription to a certain magazine. All she had to do…
The woman gave the caller her bank account details, as confirmation that she really is the person who has won this free subscription. And, as luck would have it, she received the magazine each week from then on. The other side of the coin: her bank account was debited with the subscription costs at the end of the first quarter. That she couldn’t remember who had called her after three months is understandable. That she was stupid enough to give out such personal information is, perhaps, also understandable. Some people simply do not have a head for reality.
But for me there is one single rule. I’ll click on such links and answer mails, and accept free online prizes the day I shoot this photograph myself:
and I don’t think that is going to be any time soon.
Love & Kisses, Viki.