Aug 20, 2012 / 8:00 am
Some things are easier to fix than others. Here’s an example of each, from my real life appointments last week. The malware was hard, but Skype took just over two minutes to repair.
Please do not fall for the “FedEx tried to deliver your package” scam
There are lots of variants of this scam, but the FedEx version is the one I’m seeing most right now. It goes like this:
You receive an email purporting to be from FedEx, claiming that they tried to deliver a package but couldn’t. All you have to do to get this package, according to the email, is click on a file attached to the email, and print out a label.
Don’t do it. As the hoax-slayer website explains, (http://www.hoax-slayer.com/fake-fedex-invoice-malware.shtml)
However, the email is not from FedEx and the claim that a package has been returned is a lie designed to fool the recipient into opening the attached file. The attachment does not contain a mailing label. Instead, it contains a malicious .exe file, hidden inside a seemingly innocuous .zip file that can install malware on the user's computer. The malware can modify the registry on the infected computer, connect to remote servers and download and install additional malware. Wording of the malware emails may vary, although all make reference to a package that could not be delivered.
The stuff that gets downloaded is a real challenge to get rid of.
When you receive a suspicious email, it’s a good idea to stop and think before you click on anything. You can search the hoax-slayer website (http://www.hoax-slayer.com/) to see if the email you receive is similar to known scams. In writing this column, I simply went to the hoax-slayer main page and searched FedEx package. In less than 10 seconds I had my answer. Snopes.com (http://www.snopes.com/) is another reliable source, but I hate the popup ads. Hoax Buster (http://www.coruscant.dsl.pipex.com/hoaxbuster/) contains links to other reputable sites where you can check an email. But the first line of defence is always common sense. So stop and think for a moment before you click on an attachment.
What the heck? My Skype is in Russian!
Of all the trouble shooting I’ve done in the past couple of weeks this problem was the most fun. When I got to my customer, her Skype was in another language. It was not a language either of us recognized, so how could we get back to English without convening a meeting of the UN Security Council?
Checking my own Skype, I found that the fifth item from the left on the menu bar is called Tools. Clicking on that opens a menu with six choices, and the second one is Change Language. I went back to my customer’s computer, clicked on the corresponding items there, and changed the language from Bulgarian to English. Problem solved.
Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!
Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com/) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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