Author Spotlight – Welcome Back Allan Hudson

It is a very special pleasure for me to welcome you back on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’. In your former visits we learned about your writing, your writing process and asked for some advice. But there are so many more questions to ask!

Allan Hudson

Let’s see what you can tell us today:

  • Would you please describe your writer’s spot?

My writing spot has changed since my last visit to your popular website Aurora. Previously I had converted my garage to office space to write in. Having sold our house and moved back to the city, I have a separate room where I write. I have all I need, my computer, favorite books, reference books, printer, scanner and I’m close to the coffee pot.

  • Is there a particular plan or schedule you follow with your writing?

I’m much like most folks, a creature of habit. I like writing in the morning. My day starts early and after answering emails and doing the social media thing, I write for several hours almost daily. I like quiet and I find mornings the most productive.

  • Do you think writers often are ‘introverted’ people, preferring to be alone rather than in company?

An interesting question, Aurora. Because writing is a solitary exercise, we are often cast as being introverted and there may be something to the idea. Myself, I enjoy my own company and am not worried about being alone. However, I do like meeting people and my previous career in sales and self-employment meant being extroverted and mingling with folks. I don’t think all writers are introverted.

  • Do you publicly speak or have readings, and if yes, do you have any advice for beginners?

I have participated in readings and I do enjoy such events. With Covid, readings now take place on Zoom or other similar avenues at which I am not comfortable with but I look forward to live events as soon as possible. I do enjoy public speaking. Beginners face the uncertainty of being accepted or their stories liked and it’s normal. My advice is to look for opportunities and it is never as bad as you imagine. Most crowds are warm and receptive.

  • There are so many scams out there for writers and upcoming authors. Did you ever have experience with any of it and do you have advice on how to not get trapped?

This makes me sad. There are so many unethical people wanting to take advantage of our hopes and dreams and a person has to be extremely careful of the idle promises. The best advice here is to befriend another author or writer or through an association of writers and get advice from someone experienced. Don’t make any moves until you do so.

  • Do you have a particular marketing strategy for your books?

It is my one weakness when wanting to sell books. I’m no marketing guru nor do I have a bottomless pile of money to promote my book. I stick with a website, FaceBook, Amazon, and Twitter. I try not to badger my followers with just “buy my book” but inform them of my writing journey and the stories I have to offer. Nothing glamourous, other than neat websites and fellow authors who make an effort to share others’ work. Like you, Aurora. Thank you for this.

  • Did you publish more of your work since your last visit here? If yes, please tell us about it.

Since then, I’ve published the second book in the Jo Naylor series – Shattered Lives. The third book in the Drake Alexander Adventure series – Vigilantes. I’ve been involved in an anthology – Autumn Paths – which was a lot of fun. I’m humbled to be part of the anthology alongside authors I admire and respect. I recently released my latest novella – Father. Based on true events, I changed names and settings. It has been the most fun to write. There has been a terrific response to date and I am anxiously awaiting paperbacks.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thank you, Aurora. So much fun being here.


Connect with Allan:

www.southbranchscribbler.ca

https://www.facebook.com/southbranchscribbler/

https://www.wattpad.com/user/allanhudson


Allan’s Books:

(Click on the cover to read more or buy)

THE BEST OF WRITER BEWARE: 2021 IN REVIEW – Written By Victoria Strauss

For quite a while now I kept re-blogging warnings of scams and fraud in the literary world, most of them written by Victoria Strauss in the ‘Writer Beware’ blog. I thought it a great idea that she posted a review of 2021, and I decided to share that post too. It might help some of us to escape a trap or two.

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®


Ah, 2021. The year that was supposed to deliver us from the pandemic, and instead delivered…well. You know.


At least one expectation didn’t change: scammers gonna scam. Writer Beware was ready. Below are highlights of a busy year of scam hunting, scheme exposing, contract analyzing, and just plain crazy stuff.
IT CAME FROM OVERSEASI know I’m kind of a broken record here, because I’ve written so many posts about them…but the tsunami of publishing/marketing/fake literary agency scams out of the Philippines really is one of the realest and most present dangers for self- and small press-published writers, who are almost exclusively these scammers’ target.


Scam Alert: Chapters Media & Advertising and Its Stable of Imaginary Literary AgentsThis was one of the more elaborate of the Philippines-based scam efforts: the creation of a large roster of fictitious literary agents, complete with fake resumes and/or websites. The “agents” are fronts for referrals to paid services.

CONTINUE READING HERE

A Special Day To Celebrate Me

It’s January 7, once again. And, as usual, I’m 29 years old today. It’s 2022, and I planned to start this year with a trip down a new road, and I’m pretty busy packing up and starting a new adventure. This wasn’t prepared for long, but I’m intensely working on getting everything done because I’ll be on the road next week.

I will take my time and enjoy the drive into the future, looking at it as a symbol for a new start. I’m convinced this is a time full of wonders, miracles, and, finally, happiness.

I’ll start my trip, together with my kitties, and I will enjoy every mile of it. I will look into that adventure with a smile, and I won’t care about the 29th birthday because this year will be my year, and I’ll experience interesting, thrilling, and exciting things! You will find out. But first, I’ll be on the road for a while.

Picture courtesy of Greenplanet.com

But for the moment, maybe you can help me celebrate my birthday by sharing my books? I’d really appreciate it if you could share them, whenever and wherever you can. As a birthday wish, this is huge for me!

SOUL TAKER

After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker,’ Kate is worn out.

When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above,’ she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.

Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.

Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.

Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, Evil, and torture.


SUNDANCE

Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind.

Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’, seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and Evil. Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.


DEMON TRACKER

Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her. She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?


Bounty Hunter

When Centriel roams the Earth in a dark mood and atypical despair, in a mountain clearing, far from humankind, he unexpectedly discovers a runner, followed by a petite hunter. The way the woman treats the giant fugitive amuses the Archangel, but he quickly learns that neither of them are what they seem to be.

Simin Arnatt is an extraordinary woman. Her occupation as a Bounty Hunter takes her all over the world, as she follows her prey to the most unusual places. She would have never expected to meet the famous Centriel while on a hunt. When he offers to help her, she feels the enormous attraction, but she knows, with the secret she holds, she could never dare to hope for love.

Neither of them could guess that with her next assignment, Hell is breaking loose…


That’s one of my wishes… to bring my books to the reader’s heart.

I would love to hear how you like the stories around ‘The Council Of Twelve.’

Thank you for making this day special for me.

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Promote on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ – in 2022

It’s 2022 and ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ is seven years old.

I am very proud to have this blog up and its success and progress grew significantly. I thank all followers and readers for making this such a pleasurable experience and a great adventure for me.

There is, however, one thing that I’d like to extend even more: The chance for many other writers to use “Writer’s Treasure Chest” as a promotional platform.

  • Do you feel like trying how it is to publish blog posts?
  • Do you have anything important to say?
  • Would you like to show up on this blog?
  • Do you have a book to promote?

Use “Writer’s Treasure Chest” and contact me for

  • a Blog Tour
  • a “Featured Author Interview”
  • a “Guest Post”

So many things are possible, and I’d like to give you a chance to introduce yourself and your work here!

For once I used the contact form within a blog post and hope you will use it!

Generally, ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ does have a contact form on the right side, as a widget.

It is always there! Check it out and contact me, I’ll be delighted to work with you on your plans, your guest post, your blog tour, or send you the sheet with the interview questions!

I will be proud to have you as a guest on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’.

Books As Christmas Presents – The Council Of Twelve Series – By A. J. Alexander

It’s Christmas Time!

Books make the best presents!

Picture courtesy of Google.com

A. J. Alexander’s Books

SOUL TAKER

After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out.

When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.

Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.

Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.

Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.


SUNDANCE

Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind.

Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’ seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and evil. Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.


DEMON TRACKER

Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her. She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?


Bounty Hunter

When Centriel roams the Earth in a dark mood and atypical despair, in a mountain clearing, far from humankind, he unexpectedly discovers a runner, followed by a petite hunter. The way the woman treats the giant fugitive amuses the Archangel, but he quickly learns that neither of them are what they seem to be.

Simin Arnatt is an extraordinary woman. Her occupation as a Bounty Hunter takes her all over the world, as she follows her prey to the most unusual places. She would have never expected to meet the famous Centriel while on a hunt. When he offers to help her, she feels the enormous attraction, but she knows, with the secret she holds, she could never dare to hope for love.

Neither of them could guess that with her next assignment, Hell is breaking loose…

“Windowing” – Historic Tradition Mainly In Austria & Bavaria

In older times, in the ‘old countries’, mainly in Austria and Southern Germany, Bavaria, where several generations were living in one house, the bedrooms of young ladies were often on the second floor, to protect their virtue. Young men and ladies had only opportunity to meet each other on the dance floor at ‘village celebrations’, or at church. Of course, Sundays were family days, and the fathers protected their daughters like dragons and they often were not allowed to talk after mass.

Well, between farm and shepherd work they sometimes had the chance to briefly meet, but were strictly watched by chaperones, or, occasionally, older siblings.

Of course, the families did not tolerate fornication under their roof and didn’t accept visitors. (Fornication was illegal, by the procuration law §180 a. F. StGB).

This means, if a boy fell for a girl and wanted to secretly talk to her, he grabbed a ladder, at nighttime, and walked to her parent’s house. There he climbed up to her window and knocked – and if the girl liked him too, she opened. And then, they were talking – and kissing… and sometimes, maybe doing a few other secret things, veiled by the darkness of the night.

That tradition is, of course, not called ‘windowing’. (I used that word, because I think it gets closest to the original words). The tradition is called ‘Fensterln’ (Austrian dialect) or ‘Fenstaln’ (Bavarian dialect) and means nothing else than visiting their sweetheart by climbing into the window. That tradition was a partially accepted living out of proscribed prenuptial sexual activities.

After the sexual laxity and female emancipation, the tradition was rendered unnecessary.

Nowadays it’s only practiced for the fun of it.

When I was around 16 and vacationing with my family in my aunt and uncle’s house, I had fallen for a really cute boy, and he promised to visit me one night. Of course, he didn’t. I could imagine he didn’t want to fall down and break his neck in the darkness, He told me later, he couldn’t find a ladder that was long enough to reach the window… but I still suspect he was just scared to death from my Dad. And by thinking about it, it’s only natural. My Dad was a protector. Also, climbing into the room was out of the question, since I shared it with my younger sister. The boy probably thought, just for a couple kisses it wasn’t worth the effort. And I’m not that old… we could kiss during the day. *chuckle*

Why am I telling you about this tradition today? While writing a sub-story to my ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, I picked historic locations in Middle Europe, toward’s the end of the ‘Danube Monarchy’. During my research, I discovered an article about ‘Fensterln’ and started smiling, when I remembered it. Maybe, one day, you will have the chance to use it in one of your stories.

Happy Writing!

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Historical Names For My Story


I already wrote one book with three side stories to ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series. After completing book 9 in the series and an additional book that doesn’t belong to ‘The Council of Twelve,’ I felt the need of writing another story, making one of ‘The Council of Twelve’ side characters the protagonist.

The story takes place in middle Europe in the 13th century during the peak of the ‘Danubian Monarchy’ when parts of the extended grounds and population started rebelling and founded their own country.

Now, I needed names that were popular during that time. I know one or two of those first names that survived until our current times, but, of course, that story doesn’t only have two characters.

So, what did I do? I do what many of us do at first: we Google!

What I found out was quite interesting. There are a few websites with middle-European names, but:

They start delivering from 14th – 15th century. I was a bit confused at first, but then it dawned on me… The rebellion started end of the 13th century. It took several hundred years until the country in question was founded entirely. Therefore, it is evident that there was no source from that early state.

I permitted myself to use first names from the 14th century since I considered that the first names didn’t change that much.

Writing that story had been a lot of fun so far. However, it needed some getting used to, juggling with these very antiquated names, like:

Siboto

Heidenreich

Rupertus

Gottfried

Eberhart

Hermine

Levian

There are other examples, of course. But to my surprise, a few first names survived until this current time and even have crossed the ocean.

Theodor

Thomas

Martin

And just in case you’re wondering, I purposely chose to write the Germanic version of the names since, as I mentioned, the story takes place in Europe.

I do admit; I am fascinated by some older and old-fashioned names. I think it’s a bit sad that some of them have almost ‘disappeared.’ Well, some of the names I understand are not used anymore, but some others I love:

Prudence

Phoebe

Elizabeth

Genevieve

Esme

Agnes

Florence

Edith

Esther

Ellen

Martha

Nellie

Pearl

Rose

Cordelia

Abraham

Albert

Ambrose

Barold

Benedict

Edward

Jasper

Franklin

Elijah

Gael

Milton

Neville

Julien

Marshall

Reginald

Spencer

Tobias

Winston

Maude and Wilbur don’t belong to my favorites, but that’s only a detail. At this time, I wanted to complete that side-story with characters playing in the 13th century and not being named ‘Jessica’ and ‘Heather.’

It’s always a good idea to create unique characters, and why not name them equally impressive?

What names do you like? How do you name your characters? Do the names of your characters have meanings, or are they ultimately picked out of your fantasy? Let us know in the comments.

ODE TO A GREEK GOD – Written By Marla Todd

Ode to a Greek God

A story by Marla Todd

I’ve been 6000 years at the top of my game. I knew it was too good to last.

I’m having breakfast on my deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean with the perfect amount of salty warm breeze drifting over me. A beautiful redheaded woman is still in my bed and I can still feel the warmth of her skin against mine. Fortunately she’ll be gone in an hour.

Anyway, I’m having coffee and some amazing cheese and apple pastries my son dropped off this morning. I’m also checking out a box Pan had dropped off with the pastries. That’s my son Pan, the famous happy-go-lucky satyr who dances through the woods making merry. That’s over. He settled down about 150 years ago with a wood nymph named Gloria and they’ve been keeping domestic bliss ever since. I never thought I’d see the day. Anyway, they were cleaning out some closets and found some stuff I’d swiped a few years ago. Thirty-four years ago to be exact.

It looked like I’d gone into the backpack of a college girl. I’d been in college mode that year for a change of pace. I was young, buffed and blue eyed and a killer smile. Female heads all turned in my direction.

In the box was a silver hair clip in the shape of a flowering tree branch, a delicate sexy lacy cream-colored underwire bra size 32C, a sea shell and a folded up piece of college ruled notebook paper. I unfolded the paper and read the words that would change my life.

It was a poem. It was in a round girlish script written in blue felt tip pen. No name identified the writer. I started to read, expecting the usually silly girlish babble about the meaning of life, teen angst and the horrible nature of never being understood. What I read was something else entirely.

As I stood upon the steps,

Halfway between the land and sea

The messenger god Hermes

Came to me,

Swift footed and bright

But somewhat overtaken

By his cousin Dionysus’ last visit

He brought me a message

And I read it through his blue eyes

“I bring you myself” he said.

No answer came from my lips

Except a kiss,

Which spoke very clear.

Oh happy was I,

When hand in hand

Under the stars we ran

For my mythical Hermes

Turned into a man

I took a gulp of coffee and stared at the poem. A poem about me? People had written poems about me, of course, but this was personal. It was a poem about ME, not a god of tales and lore but about ME, Hermes. It was about ME.

This girl knew me. I mean she KNEW me. She knew who I was. How? I never let on to any mortal to who or what I am. Never.

She wrote me a poem. It wasn’t a great poem. It wasn’t even a good poem. It wasn’t epic. But by my father Zeus, it was tender and sweet, full of the promise of love. It was happy. It was from her heart. A heart that considered me more than just a good body and maybe a great fuck, if I did indeed fuck her. I know I must have kissed her. I must have made love to her, because a girl who wrote the poem would never just fuck a guy. She’d have made love to me in a way I should have remembered, but damn it I couldn’t remember a thing.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Prequel – Sequel – Interquel?


A book within a series, a story out of many stories. Who hasn’t heard of sequels when it comes to TV shows?

I wrote several stories  of ‘The Council of Twelve’ series, with four books published:

Soul Taker Sundance Demon Hunter Bounty Hunter


After book seven was finalized, which is now with my editor, I felt the need to satisfy the curiosity of a few of my readers.

I was asked several questions that caught me unexpectedly, I admit.

  • “I like that little female angel they call ‘Needle.’ She’s so loveable. What’s her story?”
  • “Sundance and Anaan were such a cute couple. Why did it have to end like that? Is it the end?”
  • How was the ‘Council of Twelve’ was formed? Aren’t there only four Archangels?

I had more questions, but to me, these were the most important ones.

“Needle,” with her name being Aylah, does have her own story, of course. I decided to write it down, titled “Love With Delay.”

The second question was not as easy to answer… Sundance and Anaan were a cute couple, I agree. But unfortunately, that relationship had to end. It wasn’t Sundance’s road to travel. There’s something else waiting for her. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end. What happens to Anaan and his friends? I decided to write down what happened to them and what decisions they made for their future. Their story is called “Pursue New Avenues.”

The third question was the hardest to answer. Originally there were five Archangels, yes. One of them fell, after a failed rebellion, as we all know. With the growth of humankind, there were more angels needed. It wasn’t enough anymore just to let them watch the Earth, sing in the angel choir and play the lyres. Guardians, Protectors, Soul Takers, Cleaners, Warriors, Messengers, Healers, Negotiators, Assistants, and many more were needed. With the extension of needed angels, a tighter organization in Heaven had to be provided. Finally, the four original Archangels, Raphael, Uriel, Gabriel, and Michael, couldn’t get the work done on their own anymore. They discussed the challenge with their Creator and came up with a plan to extend their circle. The start of that story is described in “When Four Became Six.”

I wrote the three stories and collected them in one book, which is currently with my editor. While I was writing, I tried to find out where to ‘position’ those stories.

Now, a sequel is a story being ‘born’ out of an existing story. To me, ‘Love With Delay’ is clearly a sequel.

As of the second ‘side story,’ ‘Pursue New Avenues,’ I wasn’t sure if that was a sequel as well, but then I decided instead to name it an interquel. I found online what an ‘Interquel’ is supposed to be: Also called a Midquel, this can be one of two things: when a new entry in a series is a sequel to one existing entry, and a prequel to another, or when it takes place during a Time Skip in an earlier entry rather than continuing the story.” (Source: Interquel – TV Tropes)

 ‘When Four Became Six’ is clearly and without a doubt a ‘Prequel’ since it’s a story that happens before the series starts.

You might ask me, will these three stories be the only side stories I’m going to write? And the answer is no. There are more interesting side characters who have a fascinating history. Also, the ‘six’ have to become ‘twelve’ at one point. There are more stories hidden.

I will keep you updated.

Now, let us know in your comments. Do you see a character you’d like to learn more about? Did you ever write sequels, interquels, or prequels to your stories?

How to spot common red flags in phishing emails – Written By Tim

You clicked the link in the email to reset your online banking password. But are you really sure that the bank security team sent that email? Too late. You just fell for a phishing email scam, and now your account data is compromised. 

However, most phishing emails contain glaring red flags. You just didn’t spot them in time—but you can learn how to. Sometimes it’s still the most obvious tricks that catch people out, and phishing emails are a common example.

What exactly is phishing?

Phishing is a type of social engineering designed to manipulate you into giving up sensitive personal information like your passwords, credit card, or bank details, or installing malicious software on your device. 

Phishing uses communication—usually in the form of emails or text messages—pretending to be from someone you trust, such as a company whose services you use. This is why you are willing to give your information to them.

Once an attacker has successfully duped you and has stolen your information or gained access to your device, they can log in to your accounts, change the password, and potentially access other linked accounts. 

Read more: Before your download: Is that app a scam?

According to an Avast survey of its users, 61% of Americans are at risk of falling victim to phishing scams. Phishing emails accounted for 59% of the cases where users admitted to falling for a phishing scam.

While it’s true that it’s increasingly difficult to distinguish a fake email from a legitimate one, most phishing emails still contain red flags that should make you suspicious—if you know what to look for.

So let’s take a look at an example of a phishing email and the red flags contained within.

Example of a phishing email scam with glaring red flags.

1. The email was unsolicited

As a rule, most companies won’t send you unsolicited emails. So ask yourself, why should you have received this email at all? Attackers expect you to open these emails and click the links without verifying their authenticity.

2. A shouty subject line

Attackers know they’re competing for your attention in a crowded inbox. So a common tactic is to use shouty subject lines—in this case: “Important! Your Password will expire in 1 day(s).” 

Such threats and a sense of urgency are designed to make you click suspicious links within the body of the email. This should put you on alert that something phishy might be going on. 

3. Slightly misspelled email address or domain

If you’re suspicious about an email’s origins, check the sender. Scammers often use an email address that looks very close to a legitimate one. Close, but no cigar: and that difference is vital. 

The sender name, “LegitBank Security Team,” sounds legit, right? But notice the two spelling errors in the email address: “securiity@legitbamk.com.” 

A top tip is to type the company’s name in a search engine to see what email domain it uses, or by looking up an email you’ve previously received from them. 

4. Unfamiliar or vague greeting

Organizations like your bank have personal details, including your name—so receiving an official-looking email with a vague greeting like “Dear LegitBank user” should put you on alert. If the tone of the rest of the email also sounds out of character, that’s another huge red flag.

5. Obvious spelling and grammar mistakes

Many phishing emails contain several spelling and grammar mistakes, which is uncommon from large, professional organizations like banks.

In this example, you can see the inconsistent capitalization of the subject line, the bad grammar in the email text (“Your account password is expire in 24 hours”), and even spelling mistakes in the link URL.

Don’t click suspicious links

If you’re suspicious about an email’s origins or intent, definitely don’t click any links within. 

You can even see that the link in this phishing email has a spelling mistake in the URL (LegitBank is spelled with two “i”s). If you click on the link, you’ll be taken to a fake site that may look identical to the original, where you will be prompted to enter your login details or other sensitive information like payment details. 

Sometimes, the fake site will even redirect you to the legitimate site, where you will log in again (this time for real). But it’s too late: Your logins are compromised, and the attacker can access your account. By the time you notice something amiss, they might have already changed the password and the email address for account recovery, locking you out.

Don’t click on suspicious attachments

Attackers need you to open malicious attachments, so will make them look as harmless as possible. The attachment on this phishing email appears harmless enough, instructions for updating your password—but if you’ve already spotted red flags elsewhere, think before you click.

Once opened, the harmless-looking ZIP file could spread malware onto your device (though a malicious PDF or DOC could be just as devastating), which may allow an attacker to log your keystrokes (capturing logins, passwords, email addresses, bank accounts) or install ransomware on your device, encrypting your documents to block access unless you pay a ransom. (Which is another good reason to back your data up regularly.) 

Keep an eye out for things that just look odd

Did you notice that the copyright notice at the bottom of the email is out of date? It says “2011” instead of “2021”. Big corporations are unlikely not to have updated such details in over 10 years, so even small details could be red flags.

At the end of the day, attackers who send phishing emails are relying on you to drop your guard and trust that everything is normal. So always be on alert for glaring red flags that mean something phishing may be going on. 

For more tips on cybersecurity awareness and the biggest news in tech privacy, sign up for the ExpressVPN blog newsletter.

Tim likes to keep an eye on the exciting developments in cryptocurrencies and data privacy when he’s not deep in a podcast, a TV show, or new albums.

(Source: https://www.expressvpn.com/blog/phishing-emails-red-flags/?utm_source=blog_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=blog_newsletter_20211014)


I thought, this was a warning that needs to be spread. There are still far too many people falling for pishing. I found that article on my VPN provider’s newsletter, which I get regularly. I’m using VPN for quite some time now and find it extremely useful. It offers me safety and protection. If you’d like to try it, you can do so for one month, or longer. Click here to check it out: https://www.expressvpn.com/what-is-vpn – Let me know if you’d like a link to subscribe, I’d be happy to assist you!