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That genuine e-mail you think is a scam


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Oliver said on 11:50:31 24-Mar-2017

I had an e-mail from Amazon last night, at 23:59 of all times, so I wasn't in to see it until the next morning and the e-mail struck me as odd for several reasons:

First off, when you get an e-mail from Amazon, it has all their colour schemes, menu bars, offers and the like. But this one seemed a little rushed. There were no pictures, no links no top or bottom bars, containing things like "Contact us" or "Terms and conditions" and the like. So I got suspicious.

The next thing I started to look at was who the addressee was. To my intrigue, the name printed was exactly the same as that assigned to my account. This is either a good guess, or this was a bone fide email from Amazon.

So not convinced either way, I checked the content of the e-mail. "This is an important message from Amazon"

A good way to start an e-mail right? Spam sense is rising here. "At Amazon," always good to keep reminding the reader who their addresser is "we take privacy very seriously"

Indeed you do! I'm reading an e-mail and I have NO clue who sent it!

"As part of our routine monitoring, we discovered a list of e-mail address and password sets posted online"

Not something you want to hear whether in an official e-mail, scam, or spam e-mail... but the next line interested me most:

"While the list was not Amazon-related, we know that many customers reuse their passwords on several websites"

Really? Seriously?! How can you KNOW this? Is that a fact or are you just making it up. I mean it's a fairly safe bet that with a customer base as huge as Amazon, that yes some password reuse would be prevalent. But my word!

Anyway that all aside, I didn't treat the e-mail as anything serious. Probably just some prank or spam... that was until I logged in to Amazon this morning and I was told my password was incorrect and to fill in a captcha or several hundred... because some of those are craaaaaazy picky even for a human!

So, I requested a password change, got through all their verification, which was easy enough, changed my password and then thought to myself: "That e-mail I saw. Was it an official Amazon correspondence?"

So I got on to the mail server, pulled the entry and started scowering through the header files. Well the document originated from an IP that gave a name of lux.smtp-out.e*******, that I cross-referenced against the password change e-mail; a13-2**** ... but again this e-mail, not like the first which was sent in plaintext, was sent in HTML, and contained scant information and no links back to Amazon.

I found the whole thing curious.

In brief, I thought it was spam, but as it turns out, it's genuine! Who would have thought it!!


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