Curiosity killed the cat, but it can also cause you to become a victim of identity theft.  It also can be a warning that your have been hacked and made a part of a botnet.  Reproduced below is a message that a Scamicide reader received indicating that a message she had sent had not been delivered.  The Scamicide reader neither had sent an email to the address indicated in the notice nor even recognized the email address to which her message supposedly was sent.  For security purposes I have changed the email address in the notice and removed the link where the notice directed you to click on in order to learn more about the message.

Phishing emails where you are lured into clicking on a link under a variety of pretenses is a primary weapon of scammers and identity thieves who infect your computer or phone with a wide variety of malware such as ransomware or keystroke logging malware that will steal your data and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.  Alternatively, this notice could be an indication that your computer has been hacked and made a part of a botnet.  A botnet is a network of computers that have been compromised and used to anonymously send out massive amounts of malware and scams.


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If there were a Ten Commandments of safe computer use, the first commandment would be to never click on any link or download any attachment unless you have absolutely confirmed that the communication containing the link or attachment was legitimate.  Phishing emails and text messages with infected links and attachments are the most common way that malware is delivered to unwary victims.  It is also important to have good security software installed on all of your devices and make sure that you install the latest security updates as soon as they are available, however, even if you are using the most up to date version of your security software, you will still be vulnerable to the newest zero day defects which are new strains of malware which your security software will not protect you against.  That is the reason that it is so critical not to be lured into clicking on infected links.

If your computer has been hijacked and made a part of a botnet you can run a boot-time scan which will uncover botnet malware by scanning your computer system before the operating system starts.  Fortunately, even in a worst case scenario, botnet infections usually are of very short duration with most lasting less than a day and less than one percent lasting more than a week.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”

If you are not a subscriber to and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”