GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

November 14, 2012

Letter: Words to the wise when it comes to strange emails


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

I am writing to warn everyone about some of the things that get into our computer programs and systems, when we least want to expect them to be there — so that when one is downloading something, that is when different programs, and viruses can get in and pervade.

In one of my previous letters to the editor, I had noted that crime syndicates try to get people’s personal information, and say that they are offering large amounts of money that they have won in different international lotteries.

The Bank Of Nigeria is, from what I can tell, one of the oldest ones. For quite some time now, I have been getting one from “The FBI” stating that this money is legitimate, and to claim it.

Yet anyone in his or her right mind is going to realize that the FBI would only contact someone, if something serious, like a criminal act that one was involved with — and certainly not by email.

In fact, the other day, in opening my e-mail, a virus got in my system, locked the whole thing, and didn’t allow me to exit, or get out of it, in any way, and threatened me through the supposed FBI message, telling me that I owed $200, or it could lead to imprisonment!

I have been a Verizon customer for 10 years here, and called their Supreme Tech Support, and invested $14.95 a month, so that if anything like this ever happens again, that they could clean it out, any time of the day or night, 24/7, including holidays and weekends. If they fixed it for me on a one-time basis, that would cost me close to $80, which is horribly expensive, when one is on a fixed income.

In coming home later, I checked my e-mail, and without doing anything, there was the so-called FBI virus again! It’s really difficult one to get rid of.

Look, www means World Wide Web, and anyone can say they are anything in cyber space, and chances are no one is going to be any the wiser. This is limitless, and anything and everything can be found, when one looks things up here. Again, that can be anywhere in the world, or any country!

Enormous as this is, we need to focus on what it is that we want or need, try and do our best with that, and bring about good, to help to make this world a better place to live.

I cannot understand what possesses people to hack accounts. One can get an e-mail from a personal friend, and find an advertisement of something unrelated to their relationship — or receive a message saying that their friend is in another part of the world, and that their money has been stolen, and that they need help. All of these, in my view, are scams.

So in brief, don’t open anything that doesn’t look familiar or unexpected.

And when things are advertised to look too good to be true, they often are.

BONNIE BARISH

Pleasant Street, Gloucester