Recognizing Fake Emails

Has anyone ever told you that they got a weird email from you; one that you never sent? Often it tells them to click a link or directs them to send money.

Cyber crime awareness

This is an internet scam called email spoofing. While the emails appear to be from you, or from somebody you know, this is usually just a cleverly disguised forgery and not an indicator that your email has been hacked. It is similar to someone standing around the corner from you and mimicking your best friend’s voice while asking you to toss $20 around the corner to them. Most of us would want to peek around the corner and verify that our friend was standing there.

That can be a bit more difficult with an email.

So, what can you do?

The first thing to remember is that things that seem fishy usually are. We encourage you to trust your gut. Look at the way a person talks. Is the use of language odd? Most people write in a manner similar to spoken English. While writing may be more formal, it is still largely conversational. When is the last time your dad asked you to “Please kindly” anything? Or has your boss ever “Anticipated your early response?” These aren’t phrases that we commonly use when speaking to one another, even if we can understand the meaning of them. In these cases, what you are most likely viewing are the idiosyncrasies of translating one language into another. If you still aren’t sure if the email is real, we recommend calling the person to verify the email contents.

Don’t respond to the email directly as this can potentially create other problems. Sometimes emails are sent with the hopes of finding a verifiable connection. A little like the old game of Marco Polo. If the scammer says “Marco” and you respond “Polo” then they know someone is there to be a target. If the scammer says Marco, and nobody answers, they will be more likely to move on until they hear a response. While computer scams can be driven by technology such as viruses, trojan horses, worms and spyware, a lot of tricking you into something simply relies on manipulation and social engineering. It is simply best not to respond. 

In some instances, you can see what the originating email address actually is. In the “From:” line you would see what appears to be your friend’s email address, followed by a second email in “<…>” markings such as From: Mom@hugs.com <notmom@badguy.com>. In this case, you can block “not mom” without actually blocking your real mom.

We hope these tips help protect you from potential scams, but if you suspect that you have been the victim of a scam we recommend that you contact your telecom or IT provider, and file a police report. This will ensure that any malicious code is blocked in the future, and any crimes are reported to the proper authorities. 

Compiled and written by Andrew Cook, Operations Manager for Dagger Law. Last updated 14 July 2020.

When Life Gives You Lemons, We Can Help

We have all heard the old saying that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. While we all love an upbeat outlook on life, the truth of the matter is that some piles of lemons are just bigger than others, and sometimes you don’t want lemonade.

When life gives you legal lemonsAlmost any time you need an attorney, your life is in full lemon mode. At Dagger Law, we understand that, and we pride ourselves on being able to clear as many lemons as possible from your life.

Sometimes those lemons look like a spouse that wants a divorce, sometimes they are in the form of an injury from a car accident, or perhaps it is the passing of a loved one.

Whatever your lemons look like, our experienced attorneys are here to assist.

Protecting Your Children’s Future

Happy family that has a Will in place

It might be a logical statement to say that everyone would be better off with some planning for their estate. However, today we want to focus on the reasons that families with kids need to be planning ahead.

While nobody wants to sit down and think about what happens to their kids if they suddenly, and unexpectedly, die; there are many important reasons to ensure that there is a clear plan in place.

  • First of all, as a parent, we know you want what is best for your children. In your mind you probably already have ideas about whether you would want your kids to be raised by a friend, godparent, or your favorite aunt. In many cases the plan has been loosely developed and it takes little work to make it official with a legal document. Without a Will, the state has no way of knowing who you would trust to raise your kids, or how you want your children to receive your property. 
  • Second, nobody knows your children better than you do. While it is unlikely that the state would allow any harm to come to your children, it can’t know the particular needs that they might have. If the state might divide your property in an equitable manner, it may not account for your wish to help a child buy their first car, or assist a child with paying for college in your absence. These situations may not apply to your children equally, and only by establishing a will would you be able to ensure that these important items are taken into consideration. 
  • Finally, you may admire the way your aunt loves and dotes on your children, but perhaps your accountant brother would be a better person to manage the assets that your child may now inherit upon your death. A will would allow you to create some distinctions about who manages what aspects of your child’s life, until they become an adult. As with our second point, you may know the strengths of the potential guardians in a way that the probate court may not. 

We understand that you want what is best for your children. With some careful planning, today, you can ensure that your plans for your family can be protected even after an untimely death. It is hard to predict all the nuances that you might want to spell out in an estate plan. That is why Dagger Law recommends that you sit down with an attorney to ensure that your wishes and intentions are clearly defined, and allowed, under the law. We are here to help you protect your assets, and your children’s future. Call today.