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How can I tell if a Badpuppy email message is fraudulent?

Question: How can I tell if a Badpuppy email message is fraudulent?
Answer:

Recently, we have become aware of a “phishing” scam involving Badpuppy.  What exactly is “phishing”? In brief, a “phishing” email is one that pretends to be from a company or bank like eBay, PayPal, WAMU, Suntrust (and even Badpuppy), which asks you, (for various reasons), to enter your account data, such as login details. These scams are often supported by fake spoof websites, and victims are tricked into thinking they are logging in to a real website. Phishing is a form of identity theft, where fraudsters steal your identity and personal information to gain access to your accounts or commit other crimes using your persona. The links in the email (which can look just like our real site address) can also contain hidden executable programs (like .exe files), which can run on your system and install anything from adware, to spyware, to viruses.

How can I tell if an email message is fraudulent?

Just as in the physical world, con artists will continue to develop new and more sophisticated ways to trick you online. The following are just a few phrases to watch for if you think an e-mail message is a phishing scam. Don't forget to trust your instincts. If an e-mail message looks suspicious, that probably means that it is.

"Verify your account." Businesses should not ask you to send passwords, Social Security numbers, or other billing information through e-mail. Be suspicious of a message that asks for personal information even if the request looks legitimate. If you email us and we cannot locate you by that email address, we may ask you to verify your Badpuppy username or possibly your billing address to assist us in finding your account.. but we will never ask you to send actual credit card information back to us in an email.

"If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed." Phishing e-mail may be polite and accommodating in tone, but these messages often convey a sense of urgency so that you'll respond immediately without thinking. Phishing e-mail may threaten to close or suspend your account or may even say your response is required because your account may have been compromised.

"Dear Valued Customer." Phishing e-mail messages are usually sent out in bulk and do not contain your first or last name. Although, it is possible that con artists have this information. Most legitimate companies (but not all) should address you by your name.

"Click the link below to gain access to your account." HTML-formatted messages can contain links or forms that you can fill out just as you'd fill out a form on a Web site. The links that you are urged to click may contain all or part of a real company's name and are usually "masked," meaning that the link you see does not take you to that address but somewhere different, usually a phony Web site. Notice in the following example that resting the mouse pointer on the link reveals the real Web address, as shown in the box with the yellow background. The string of cryptic numbers looks nothing like the company's Web address, which is a suspicious sign.

Example of masked URL address
Example of masked URL address

If you receive an email claiming to be from Badpuppy that appears to be suspicious, do not reply or click on the link it provides – open up a blank email in your email program, and forward the message to us directly at support@badpuppy.com to verify what you received. Or, give us a call at anytime for immediate help… our 24 hour support information may be found HERE.

Please also note that we will never send you any kind of email attachment, unless you are already expecting something specific from one of our staff members. If you receive an email from us with an attachment that you are not expecting, do not open it and immediately delete it.

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