Be wary of cloud download links, such as from Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive

A lot of people share files with friends or colleagues by uploading them to cloud storage and sending an access link. I do this myself, sharing folders, documents or photo collections.

Malicious scammers can do the same thing. It’s a great technique for them, because the email itself has no attachments, and thus won’t set off anti-virus or anti-malware filters. However, once you click on the link, wham. You’ve just downloaded malware, like an infected Word doc or PDF. Alternatively, you may have been directed to a website that automatically loads malware or does phishing to steal your personal info.

Here is a sample of this type of email. This email’s link doesn’t go to a document – it goes to a malware-packed website. Of course, the lousy grammar helps us see that this email is a scam, but the scammers are getting better at this sort of thing.

If you receive an email from someone you don’t know, and it asks you to click a link or open an attachment, delete the email right away. And if you receive an email like this from someone you do know, and you weren’t expecting to receive such a message, verify with them that they actually sent it before proceeding. Ask by phone, or text, or by sending a new message – not by replying to the possible scam message. Don’t be fooled!

One final note: The scam says, “This message has been scanned for viruses and dangerous content by MailScanner, and is believed to be clean.” Uh, no. Such claims mean nothing. Anyone can type those words, or insert a logo.

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