Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

Hacked (off)

with 6 comments

So, just as I was expecting a parcel to arrive in my New York “Shop & Ship” account, I receive this email (in real life, it had the FedEx logo on it).

Tracking ID: 9278-66752833  
Date: Monday, 25 February 2013, 10:22 AM

Dear Client,

Your parcel has arrived at March 4.Courier was unable to deliver the parcel to you at 4 March 06:33 PM.

To receive your parcel, please, print this receipt and go to the nearest office.

Of course I don’t think twice about it. I write back asking if they can deliver it during office hours. The email pings back. Oh well, maybe it’s one of those automated emails you can’t reply to, I think.

So I go onto the FedEx website and I fill out a “contact us” form. When I get to Tracking ID, it says that the number, which I’ve copied and pasted from the above message, is not valid.

I must have done it wrong, I think. So I click on the “print receipt” button to get the real details.

And my world falls apart.

As the window opens, I realise, in that heart-stopping moment, that I’ve fallen victim to email hackers. Me! I’m the one who’s always telling off my mum for falling for these email scams.

I quickly change my email password, log out and shut everything down. I log back in and then receive 100 quick-fire “email error” messages from my anti-virus software. I look up the meaning of this on the internet and find that I can suppress the messages but that it won’t solve the root of the problem. It’s evidence, apparently, that my email account has been “spoofed”. In itself, it’s harmless, if irritating. But has anything more sinister happened as well?

I have banking to do online; I want to buy DD tickets for Joseph. I can’t do anything without being sure my computer is secure; that there’s no Malware lurking. So I run a complete system scan. It recommends I use “Norton Erase” to do a deep-clean of the system, even though it might inadvertently erase things I do need (antibiotics for the computer, if you like).

But I decide to run the Norton Erase. It finds a malicious file lurking deep in my system and we erase it together with a “huzzah!”  The email error messages stop. I think I’m fine.

But lesson learned. Be wary friends, be wary. (And yes I got the Joseph tickets.)


Written by mrsdubai

March 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm

6 Responses

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  1. 06.33 pm? So is that morning or evening? Glad you are all sorted now though.


    March 13, 2013 at 8:25 am

    • I should have known as soon as I saw that, shouldn’t I?! xox


      March 13, 2013 at 6:29 pm

  2. I got that one while expecting a package from the US and did exactly the same thing!


    March 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

    • So glad it wasn’t just me… DH thought it was so obvious. But he didn’t know that what I was expecting in NY was a Prada handbag – talk about beyond excited!! 🙂


      March 13, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      • Hmmmmm….


        March 13, 2013 at 6:26 pm

  3. all of my (6) email accounts got hacked at the same time last week, at like 530 AM. My cell phone went nuts with pinging and flashing. I had to reset new passwords for them all and re enter them into cell phone. All at 6-7AM WITH NO COFFEE YET. Then later that day I went into all of them into the “sent” and couldn’t believe how much crap was sent using my little bitty email accounts. Mind Boggling dirt bags. I”d like to do some serious damage to all them, sorry ass &^%(*&^%…..

    I love your posts


    April 3, 2013 at 9:07 pm

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