Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Tech & The Web

Thanks, Mark Zuckerberg, But that Email Looks Phishy

I received an email from none other than Mark Zuckerberg the other day offering me a ‘secret’ jackpot…out of the goodness of his heart.

You have heard of Mark Zuckerberg, right? He’s the “philanthropist[,] the founder and CEO of the social-networking website Facebook, as well as one of the world’s youngest billionaires and Chairman of the Mark Zuckerberg Charitable Foundation.”

You’d think someone with those kinds of credentials wouldn’t feel the need to spell them out in the first line of introduction in an email.

If I were he, I would assume my name alone would speak volumes.

According to the email he sent me, which my Gmail account warned with a big red banner “seems suspicious,” he says he believes in  “giving while living.”

A nice thought.

Because of this belief, he has decided to secretly give me $1.5 million. Why me? Well, because I was one of the “randomly selected individuals worldwide.”

Ah. That explains that, doesn’t it?

Why do these keep coming?

The email, which obviously wasn’t from that Zuckerberg, came from an email address that ended with the .jp domain, which, you could probably guess, is a domain registered in Japan.

But the body of the email lists a different email address that I’m supposed to use to respond so that he, Zuckerberg, knows my email address is valid. That account is a Gmail address.

I’d think the owner of Facebook would probably have a Facebook email like his employees. But he did say he was being secretive, right?

He ends the short, single paragraph message to me with an invitation to read up on him, surely to boost his credibility that much more. He offers the link to the Wikipedia page about the real Mark Zuckerberg as well as the suggestion to just Google his name.

Nothing like using a well-known person’s Wikipedia listing or Google search results for instant street cred, right?

I’d like to believe that by now, these kinds of emails never work.

But they’re sent out regularly for a reason. Even after all the alerts (like this one), people must still fall for them.

Why? You tell me why. Explain to me why anyone who receives a message like this truly thinks the CEO of Facebook would just randomly send them $1.5 million. Or a buck-and-a-half, for that matter.

The idea that one of the email addresses comes from a foreign country should be the first real tip-off. The idea that a second email — the one to which you should reply — it totally different should be a second red flag.

The idea that someone like Zuckerberg would personally email you should be the biggest indicator of all that it’s spam.

Yet that detail seems to be what the whole scam is built upon.

So I was quick to delete it. I would hope everyone else who receives it does as well.

Oh, and Mr. Zuckerberg — and I mean the real Mr. Zuckerberg — if it really was from you, go ahead and mail my check.

How many spam emails do you receive per day?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.