"You have not paid for the item you recently won on eBay. Please click here to pay."
"We see emails impersonating complaints from eBay for non-payment of winning bids," said Shira Rubinoff, founder of Green Armor Solutions, a security software firm in Hackensack, New Jersey. "Many people use eBay, and users often bid days before a purchase is complete. So, it's not unreasonable for a person to think that he or she has forgotten about a bid they made a week prior."
Rubinoff, who was once a phishing victim herself and was inspired to found Green Armor after the incident, said this kind of ploy plays to a person's concerns about negative impact on their eBay score.
"Since people spend years building eBay feedback score or "reputation," people react quickly to this type of email. But, of course, it leads to a phishing site."
Rubinoff recommends not clicking on any emails of this kind. Instead, if you are concerned about something like your eBay score, go to eBay directly by typing the url into the browser bar on your own.
"You've been let go. Click here to register for severance pay. "
With the economy in the state it is in now, people are afraid for their jobs and criminals are taking advantage of that fear, said Rubinoff. A common tactic includes sending an email to employees that looks like it is from the employer. The message appears to relay news that requires a quick response.
"It can be an email that appears to be from HR that says: 'You have been let go due to a layoff. If you wish to register for severance please register here,' and includes a malicious link."
No one wants to be the person that causes problems in this economy, so any email that appears to be from an employer will likely elicit a response, noted Rubinoff. Lares' Nickerson has also seen cons that use fake employer emails.
"It might say, 'In an effort to cut costs, we are sending W-2 forms electronically this year,'" said Nickerson.
This story, "Top 9 Dirty Tricks Scammers Use" was originally published by CSO.