Phishing Alert!

A few days ago I got an email from what appeared to be The Taylor Group, a market research firm, asking me to participate in a customer satisfaction survey about Verizon, which I have an account with – easy to figure out since my primary email address ends in “” – and the email return address looked legit when I moused over it. There were links in the email to participate, and an offer of a chance to win a $50 gift certificate, plus a deadline by which to take up the offer.

I ignored it anyway, and a day or two later I got a followup email, asking again that I participate before the deadline mentioned in the first email. Again, looked legit, no spelling or grammatical mistakes, couched in market researcher level language, complete with a link at the bottom to click if I didn’t want to get any further solicitations. We’ve all seen those, right?

But… I have a nasty suspicious mind, so I Googled the firm name, and found there is indeed a Taylor Group that does market research. Except that its URL domain name is not exactly the same as the one showing in the email. And further Googling revealed a handful of alerts on a couple of Verizon users’ forums about a phishing scheme using The Taylor Group’s identity.

A, as they say, ha.

Now, this was convincingly done. Not crude like the Nigerian princes, much more legit-looking. So be careful out there, folks.

My biggest complaint are the emails where the sender makes it practically impossible to proceed without clicking on a link even though it is a legit email that I want to use.

Please honest people of the world, give us the option of manually going to your site rather than having to click on a link. And I don’t mean giving us the difficult option of copying and pasting a 10 line URL that does things I don’t know about. A simple URL that allows me to easily click down to where you want me to go.

I try very hard to NEVER click on a link in an email. Just don’t do it. No matter how legit the sender is. Even if the sender is honest the practice enables things like the OP. Such links teach and encourage bad habits.

Put in links for the naive out there, they will get hacked with the phishes and oh well. But give us careful folks an option. It is in your best interest, unless there is a very compelling reason, your email is going to get ignored no matter how interesting or useful.

I ignore & delete all e-mails like this & also ignore & delete all phone messages like this. They’re all scams, 100% of the time.