Network Productivity Group

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Technical tip #53, September 30, 2003: How to determine if all those emails you are getting from Microsoft and others are legitimate.

This all assumes you are using Outlook Express.  There is no equivalent procedure with AOL.  Netscape is very similar to Outlook Express.   Try this first:  RIGHT click the suspect email while still in your Inbox you should see this pop up menu:

LEFT click "Reply to Sender" and you should see:

In this case the virus writer has given himself an "alias" that looks legit but if you position your cursor over the alias and RIGHT click you will see another pop up menu and another Properties.  LEFT click Properties again and you should see:

Notice the "Reply to" address (in this case someone at someplace called, hardly a likely or legitimate Microsoft contact.  Delete this email and erase it from your Inbox and empty your Deleted Item folder.

All this assumes that the virus author has not hacked a legitimate site and added himself to their email addresses.   I have already received one asking for my bank card number and PIN that came from and the link-to address to provide that information was at  One wonders if any personal info at Citibank is secure!

I guess the best advice is never give any information that is of financial import to anyone soliciting you through the Internet.  If it appears legitimate, try going to their web site and thence to "Contact Us" and see if you can confirm the validity 0f the request.

I once got a warning that my domain name registration was going to expire from someone that I had never heard of before.  I assumed it was a scam and ignored the messages that kept coming for several weeks.  Suddenly I tried to access my web page and it was gone!  The company that I had never heard of had bought the company that had registered my domain name (  What's a body to do?


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