Warning About Spoof Emails

Many of you are aware of the ongoing problem of “Spoof” emails (definition: Email spoofing is email activity in which the sender address and other parts of the email header are altered to appear as though the email originated from a different source. [see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoof_Email]). This practice is also sometimes known as Phishing (definition: The act of sending email that falsely claims to be from a legitimate organization. This is usually combined with a threat or request for information: for example, that an account will close, a balance is due, or information is missing from an account. The email will ask the recipient to supply confidential information, such as bank account details, PINs or passwords; these details are then used by the owners of the website to conduct fraud.[see: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/phishing].

The implications of responding to a Spoof or Phishing email can have a tremendous impact on your life – identity theft, fraudulent account usage, etc. So, I just wanted to give you all a “head’s up” about what to do when you receive one.

Today, I received a very official looking email that appeared to be from PayPal, a service I use extensively. Here’s what it looked like:


Spoof email from "PayPal"

Spoof email from "PayPal"

The thing that clued me in about this email being a “Spoof” was that it included a link that supposedly was to bring me to PayPal’s site, where I was to LOG IN and follow their instructions. I know that PayPal would never provide a link like this. So, I forwarded the email to Spoof@PayPal.com, from whom I received this reply:

Reply From Spoof@PayPal.com

Reply From Spoof@PayPal.com

So, just to keep yourself safe, please remember:

  • NEVER click a link in an email from a financial institution
  • Beware of links inside emails from anyone with whom you’ve done business, in which they then request LogIn information, or additional personal information
  • Always verify with the sender whether or not the email you’ve received is legitimate – by contacting them DIRECTLY
  • Send suspected Spoof emails, even simply questionable ones, to the company itself, for them to verify. Most legitimate sites have a link to a Spam or Spoof email address for reporting purposes.

Please be careful with your personal information. We work hard for our money and our reputations, and we should work hard to protect them.


HUGE Discounts on Select Adobe Education Software

According to Deal News Daily, Adobe is offering an additional 80% off select education titles. The discount code is “SAVE80EDU”

As I’d only owned the CS5 Design Suite, and want the Master Suite, AND I know CS6 is being released soon, I called to confirm that the educational version would make me eligible for an upgrade price (vs. the educational price) on CS6 (the upgrade price is often better than the Educational price, nowadays). They did verbally confirm that the Ed version of CS5.5 is upgradeable when the new version is released (they would not provide any prices though). Then, they said they’d just been informed that this pricing is a mistake and they could not offer it.

However, I purchased it online – and the Educational version of the CS5.5 MASTER SUITE is shipping for $202 including tax. Of course, they need to verify my educational status, which may take a few days – and may be long enough for them to decline the pricing – but it was worth the attempt, IMO.

If you’re interested in trying for an AMAZING price, and can qualify for educational pricing, check out the article on Deal News at


Really Great Open Source ClipArt Library

Free – and Open Source Clip Art. Not only are they free in the public domain and usable for any purpose whatsoever, but there’s also a cool collaborative environment in which you can make your own alterations and share them. A great graphics resource, and an excellent way to get involved in the practical design of these images.


Nice InDesign Tutorial on Fitting

My students all know I’m a fan of Layers Magazine. In my general perusing today, I’ve found a nice tutorial on Fitting Images to Frames in InDesign. Last week, my InDesign students were asking for some tips. This may be useful to you. Enjoy!


Happy 22nd Anniversary, Photoshop!

Today marks Photoshop’s 22nd Anniversary. This amazing program has changed the course of photography, digital imaging, motion graphics, video and animation, web design… and countless other creative ways of life. It took way fewer years for Photoshop to become so ingrained in our culture that it became an actual VERB!

On the 20th Anniversary, Russell Brown, the Senior Creative Director for Photoshop, created an amazing video, commemorating the history of Photoshop to that date. It’s worth remembering here: