Saturday, 25 June 2011

Email Scams

Since the birth of the internet especially emails, these bugs from the web keep on sprouting like mushrooms after a thunder storm. But unlike the real mushrooms, they just pop out without any warning. The main reason of any of these is money. They want your money by luring you into letting them know your bank details. And when they get hold of your account's data, your pocket ends up busted and sometimes beyond negative balance without you knowing.

Money Mails

Email is the favourite medium. The sender might be somebody familiar (your friends email address which became zombie accounts for the scammers) or names never heard at all, saying something about a large sum that needs to be collected and looking for an associate (that's you) to do this. They talk about God, their dying situations, struggles, everything that will make you feel good about themselves even you haven't met them yet.



What to do?

Ignore or play with them like the scambaiters are doing, making the scammers suffer for what they have started. See hilarious stories of failed scams at  http://www.419eater.com/  , the photos of those sending you scams at http://forum.419eater.com/forum/album.php   and if you want videos, keywords are, scam baits, scambaiters, scambaiting on you tube.

Phishing

 Phishing emails are more of a threat as they send it with a spoof email addresses ( legitimate bank email addreses), which is quite easy to do and sometimes come with a fee.  Just google hoax email or spoof email and it will give you sites that can make you send emails from your favourite superstar or bank account like  http://www.hoaxmail.co.uk/ . The idea of phishing is to lure you to log in into your bank account by giving you a hoax landing pages. And when you type in your information, the details will be saved in their servers and then you will be transferred  to the legitimate site using a URL forwarder to make it not very obvious that they have your log in details already.

List below comes from my fairytale bank accounts and mortgage provider.


When you open up your email and click on the link with in it, you will be redirected to a site which might be similar to the login page of your bank but of different URL address(web address).

Taking for example, the second email on my Phishing Attempt collection, the email address is legitimate, but the landing page of the link and the real URL address of the link is of a different address. On this letter, the sender wants me to go to http://1url.com/ubg  which is very different.

How to see the real URL landing page? If you are using Mac or a PC, just hover your mouse over the link and the link will be shown at the left bottom corner, If it does not show, try right clicking it and then copy location then paste it to a note or any word processor. Right click in Mac is to hold the ctrl button while clicking.

As the link is more than a year ago and the sender uses a subdomain, his sub-domain account "ubg" under the domain 1url.com is no longer working, expired or might have been taken down with complaints. 

Another example is the tax refund from the HRM revenue which looks like legit but the link is not, and wants me to go to  http://www.frenstravel.com/UserFiles/File/zlo.php 

Like the above link, the subdomain is already taken down.


The sender keeps sending me about refunds but I just do not bite on his bait.


What to do?

If you receive emails of this nature, it is wiser to forward it to the corresponding bank account so they can make an action straight away, rather than logging into it. Or just ignore it, if your bank wants to talk to you and inform you about something important, letter is their best medium that's true with the tax man as well.

I thought these scams are already declining but I heard a similar story from a friend a while ago, and this made me alarmed that they are still on, and even the savvy internet users might be lured into it. Warning guys, if you want to log in to your bank account, just type the address in your address bar, do not rely on links!

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