Someone Shared A Dropbox File With You… Is It Dangerous?

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Everyone’s inbox is stuffed with untold amounts of spammy, scammy and risky emails. As we all continue to struggle to keep up with the communications coming in from all angles, even the most digitally savvy are not immune. Under the onslaught, we might sometimes mistakenly open a dangerous phishing mail. To combat our growing level of awareness, the level of sophistication of the scammers is having to increase.

Shared Dropbox Link…

Recently, I received a message from my friend, Tom, saying that he had a shared dropbox file for me. It looked official enough, coming from his gmail account and including a Dropbox-looking environment.

Shared_Dropbox_1Nonetheless, it got caught in my scammy BS filter. At first, I thought that Tom’s dropbox account had been hacked. Thus, I replied back to Tom’s personal email (at 7:13PM) to warn him that his account had been hacked. However, I also decided to send a text message as I was not sure. Tom replied, almost instantly, to my email (at 7:15PM):

Shared Dropbox 2Tom’s reply came back very quickly which caught me a little off guard with its personalized information — and without the usual telltale spelling mistakes. I wrote back to the hacker/scammer and checked in as to the content, seeing if I could stir one more response. At this point, I was more than a little leery since I know that Tom would not write such instructions.

A little while later, I received a distressed text (SMS) message from Tom, confirming my suspicions. His email had indeed been hacked.

Scam alert

A few lessons to be learned:

  1. We need to have better passwords and, ideally, double authentication.
  2. We need to have a contingency plan for when our password is hacked.
  3. Raise your BS detector. As a receiver, don’t click on the links inside the mail if you have the slightest concern.
  4. When you receive a suspicious mail, better to be safe than sorry. Use another method of communication than the initial email to warn your friend or colleague.
  5. Don’t ever rely on anti-spyware or anti-spam software to help you.

Thanks to share this with your friends and network. We need to continue to upgrade our level of knowledge and awareness to fend off these miserable scammers and spammers.

3 Comments, RSS

  1. J. Bisciotti December 13, 2019 @ 5:02 am

    Hello Minter, I am writing from the Ann Arbor, Michigan area in the USA. Recently, I received an email from a doctor’s office to open a DropBox file. I wondered about the scam, so googled and found this article. I KNOW YOU FROM MARYMOUNT! We lived in France 2007-2010. We have a child the same age (I think our now 20 year olds). I believe it was when these “kids” were in 5th grade that I met you.

    This article is 3 years old, but I hope you are still doing well!!

    Joan

    • Minter December 13, 2019 @ 9:29 am

      Hi Joan, That’s so funny! The long tail (tale?) of a blog!

  2. Minter Dial December 13, 2019 @ 9:34 am

    @Joan: BTW, you’ve got a modern doctor! 🙂

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