PC Doctor June 20, 2014

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Dear PC Doctor:

All the time, I get e-mails from “fan box.” I didn’t sign up for fan box, I don’t know what it is, and I don’t want these e-mails.  The subject line always says something about money, so I worry it’s a scam or a virus. What the heck is fanbox?  How come blacklisting the messages doesn’t stop them from coming?  Should I be worried?

Thanks, Kendra

     Dear Kendra:

Thanks for writing.  I’m willing to bet other readers have the same question.

The Better Business Bureau has fielded many complaints about Fanbox.  Fanbox sends e-mails indicating that you’ve “earned” money or “credits” for doing nothing.  Often, the e-mails ask the recipient for a small payment in order to unlock the larger amounts of money. It is a good idea not to open the message. If you happen to open the message, do not click on any of the links.  The BBB reports that people who have clicked on these links have found themselves billed without their knowledge, and it is difficult to unravel.  Other BBB complaints say that Fanbox uses your contact lists to send e-mails as if they were from you.  Basically, any time someone offers to give you piles of money for no work and you think to yourself ‘it’s too good to be true,’ you know it is!  Trust your instincts and send these messages straight to the trash.

From what I’ve read, the only way to stop Fanbox e-mails from reaching you is to set up a filter in your e-mail program. Most e-mail programs have a way to set up filters in either their settings or options menus.  Below are the step-by-step instructions for setting up a filter in gmail, as an example. (Your steps may be slightly different if you use another e-mail program.)

Log into your gmail account.  You’ll see a large search box at the top of your page.  In the box is a little upside-down triangle.  Click the triangle to activate a drop-down menu.  Put “fanbox” in the “Has the words” field. At the bottom, click “Create filter with this search.” On the next screen, select “Delete it.” Then, click the blue “Create filter” button.

I do hope that helps.

Until next time… Happy Computing!

     PC Doctor