Proceed with caution …

Beware of “phishing” emails
that can steal your identity

By Jim Murphy

Be smart when you are online.

If you see an email from a company or a stranger asking you to click on a link or provide personal or financial information, be suspicious. Then stop.

Don’t click. Instead, go directly to the company’s website, making sure you spell the name correctly. Then, if you have any questions about the email, call the phone numbers listed on the company’s site.

Why? I get over 300 spam emails a day at my company website, many that look just like they have come from Amazon, Comcast, Kohl’s and more. Even worse, the number of these phony emails “phishing” for personal financial data keeps rising.

More bad news: 11 percent of recipients open those attachments. You don’t want to do that. By clicking, you can open attachments that install malware on your computer and capture your keystrokes. Problem is, it’s easy to be fooled.

One quick key: look at what comes after @ in the “from” line of the email. If it isn’t, or, it’s simply not legitimate. More likely, it will look something like this: Amazon Reward Giveaway@ However, some skilled hackers can spoof real “from” email addresses, too. So look at the content, grammatical errors, spelling errors or more. Any questions: go directly to the company site without clicking on any link.

Be especially wary of notices from Fedex and UPS. They look real and urgent, and may have nasty viruses attached. Best advice: Take a breath and take  your time. If you are not sure it is real, do not click on it. Just delete it. Better to be safe than very sorry.



My mother’s little jingle helps
you remember Philly’s streets

 Want a simple way to remember the city’s major streets going south from Market Street?

Here’s a quick and easy memory device my mother taught me. She learned it while growing up in West Philadelphia.

Street names are in boldfaced type.

I went to the Market to buy some Chestnuts,

Changed my mind and bought some Walnuts.

Chased by a Locust, I ran from Spruce to Pine

Into a Lumber (Lombard) yard.

South of it, I saw a girl standing on a bridge (Bainbridge) near the water (Fitzwater).

Her name was Catherine, she was a Christian. And her father was a Carpenter who served in the Washington and Federal Army.

So now you know the names of major streets going south from Market all the way down to Federal. Does anyone have a similar memory aid for those north of Market?

Nifty Number

# 7

 That’s Philadelphia International Airport’s ranking among the nations 30 busiest airports, says an article in the New York Times. The survey – by The Points Guy – ranked airports on timeliness, accessibility and amenities. Phoenix Sky Harbor International took the top spot.

Three New York-area airports, La Guardia, John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International, ranked worst.

Philly’s airport came out looking pretty good!


Philly Fun Fact

Did you know that William Penn originally wanted 10,000 acres for his planned city of Philadelphia?

When he couldn’t convince enough people to sell him the land he needed, he lowered his sights and purchased about 1280 acres of land between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. His original city ran from river to river, and from Vine Street to Cedar Street, now known as South Street.


flickr photo by JBrazito  shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license


Jim Murphy is a direct marketing copywriter who has run his own consulting business since 2004. For nine years, he wrote and edited “Choices,” an award-winning credit union magazine with a circulation of 80,000. He also is a certified member of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides.

Any comments made are Jim’s opinion, and not necessarily those of the Old Pine Community Center.





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