Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Most Successful Scams on the Net

A dying Esther Swally waits for your email! (Mouseover and click on the picture!)
US citizens reported losing more than $550 million in 2009 in Internet fraud, falling prey to a variety of increasingly sophisticated scams, according to a report [PDF] by the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

I know that many of you enjoy Craig's List and use / participate in that website. I avoid it: here's one good reason you should too! According to experts, Facebook’s high number of users makes it a prime target for spammers and hackers too! Twitter has followed Facebook in warning users to avoid malicious emails with attachments that claim to provide a new password.

I fell victim myself to a twitter scam in November '09:
If you get a DIRECT MESSAGE via twitter, especially from someone who NEVER DM's you, be especially alert and aware! There's a sneaky phishing attack out there that begins when a Twitter user receives a direct message, such as the one depicted below (the actual message I was fooled by on Sunday), from any one of their followers.

Dasgupta14: i think i found ur high school photo

How It Scams:

The link takes you to what appears to be a twitter log-in site: Let me tell ya, I actually believed the website I was taken to was part of twitter... it is NOT!!!!! It is perfect in every way, even the URL appears to be authentic. In the transition, the blogspot blog appears, and somehow plays a role in either distracting the websurfer or in the actual capture and validation of the twitter password!

You all know how Google / Blogspot will pick on a blog or blogger and close their blog down without warning or explanation. TRY AS YOU MAY, YOU CAN'T CONTACT ANYONE FROM GOOGLE: THEY MAKE IT TOO DIFFICULT, ALTHOUGH YOU MAY END UP ON A GOOGLE FORUM WHERE NO ONE WILL REPLY TO YOUR QUESTION OR ADDRESS YOUR DILEMMA!!! Yes, these are the same "superstrict" Google policymakers who might delete your blog because it has been "inactive" yet they leave blogs up and running that haven't been touched for 8 years or more!!!

Now along comes this new twitter spam where your password gets hijacked THROUGH GOOGLE / BLOGSPOT:::
This is the intermediary blog URL (below) that appeared on my PC, and immediately I knew I had been spammed, but it was WAY TOO LATE - I tried to spare anyone else by issuing a tweet:

  • BEWARE of direct messages on twitter "i think i found ur high school photo" - may be an attempt to steal your password!

  • But alas, too late! A tweet that appeared to come from me read " see if your iq is higher than mine. take the iq quiz here:..." and I'm sure my followers got spamDM'd.

    Here is the offending blog URL:
    Most interesting if you click on the blogger's profile page you'll see
    On Blogger Since November 2009
    Profile Views (approximate) 21,000 and counting!
    That's an AWFUL LOT of profile views for a blank blog!

    Needless to say I spent hours changing passwords and redirecting permissions!

    Tags: ,

    A second PC or laptop is often your best help when disaster strikes. Many viruses disable Internet access, so you'll need a second computer to research your infection and download disinfectant software. Have a flash drive nearby, too, so you can move the inoculation from. complete details are here. And did you know that the web is also littered with fake BLOGS That's right! Fake blogs that could seriously damage your computer! That's why you should only trust reputable blogs and bloggers (like this one ;))

    Related Blogs:

    "Internet Scams, Identity Theft, and Urban Legends: Are You at Risk?"

    Latest Email Hoaxes - Current Internet Scams - Hoax-Slayer

    419 Legal - Internet Fraud and Online Scam Forum

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