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This article was published on May 25, 2016

    Are you stupid for still falling for phishing attacks?

    Are you stupid for still falling for phishing attacks?
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    Founder & board member, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    In the past two days I received three phishing mails from people I like and respect. One is a PR person, the other a venture capitalist and today I received a classic ‘Check the attached Google Doc’ phishing mail from a designer.

    These are all internet professionals. Not a retired uncle who’s just discovering the Interwebs.

    So my question is: Are these people just stupid? Or are phishing mails getting better?

    And at what point can I get angry? 

    Who’s to blame? Can we chastise our friends for being stupid for still falling for these scams in 2016? Can we tell our friends to get a virus scanner? Or take a course? After all, it is not just themselves that are inconvenienced – their naiveté or ignorance causes the virus, scam or phishing attack to spread.

    Of course the scammer is to blame for even trying to scam you, but you also have a responsibility to pay attention and not fall for stupid scams, right?

    For now I’ll stick to politely giving these people a call or sending them a text. But there’s gotta be a moment where we will collectively go: Dude, stop it already.