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Is this a scam or is this email legitimate? Print

Identifying email from Virtual Access


Broadcast announcements from Virtual Access all contain the [Virtual Access] tag in the subject line of the email. We might vary that tag in the future, but there will always be something in the subject like that for ease of identification. Broadcasts also carry the standard footer (see below) with details of the Spam Act, our contact details, and the unsubscribe link.


The other kind of email we may send you is a direct (ie individual) email. When we do that, the email will have a reference number at the start of the subject, like this: [Ref#: 1234567]. Such emails will also contain the name of our staff member who wrote it, and our contact details, at the end of the message.


When sending you email, we ALWAYS refer to ourselves as Virtual Access, or Virtual Computers Pty Ltd. We NEVER refer to ourselves as "virtual.net.au", "Virtual Net", or similar.


Bottom line: If in doubt, call us. We can soon tell you if we sent a particular email.



General tips for identifying bogus emails


  • Never trust the "from" address on incoming email. It is never verified for accuracy, and can therefore be easily forged.
  • Poor spelling and grammar is common in scam emails, and is often a dead giveaway. Reputable companies will do their best to write clearly and properly in their emails. Only occasional minor errors should slip though proofreading. Many of the scam emails (like the one we're discussing today) are blatantly obvious because of poor spelling and/or grammar.
  • Scam emails generally include a hyperlink (to a web site). Those links will generally look legitimate at first glance, but their true target is often disguised. The best advice is to not click on links in email, but instead to copy the TEXT (not the target URL) into your web browser's address bar if you think it's legitimate. If you must click on a hyperlink in an email, make sure it is taking you where it says. Most email programs will show you the actual URL you are going to when you hover over the link, prior to clicking it.
  • Scams usually come with an urgency - You MUST do this NOW! This is a clue. If the scammer can get you to act without thinking first, they win. As well, because most of these scams are shut down within hours of inception, it's important for the scammers to get you quick.
  • Scams often refer to something you didn't do. They talk about the order that you placed, the lottery that you entered, the renewal that's due, etc. Stop and think about it, and if you didn't place that order, buy that ticket, or whatever, chances are that it's a scam.
  • There's no such thing as a free lunch. If you're being offered riches, free appliances, travel, etc... you get the picture. Don't entertain the thought.
  • Paypal, Ebay and banks are particularly popular targets of scams. If you don't have an account with the organisation in question, you've received a scam email. If you DO have an account with those folks, and after checking off the points above you're not sure whether you're being scammed or not, ask the company in question. Check their website first for information about current scams and scam avoidance - the popular scam targets all have comprehensive information online. If in doubt, call them or email first.


Of course, there are other clues as well. The best advice available is to be vigilant. Don't click on links in a hurry, and don't be afraid to ask someone first.... And use our FREE spam filter to avoid most of the junk in the first place. Spam filtering is enabled by visiting the "My Mailbox" option at http://www.virtual.net.au