Text spammers know what we think about them.

Received in my text inbox yesterday from 201-429-3058 (almost certainly spoofed).

Reply YES for Web-page link. See Visual proof and exact blueprint for generating $13K per/month, in 45 to 90 day. Guaranteed! A rated-BBB

My response: Anatomically impossible suggestion.

Instant reply: Okay, I am deleting you from my contacts at your request. You will not be getting anymore messages. Sorry to disturb you.

Whoever is blasting spam get-rich-quick messages to the world must have a database of possible negative responses, including the one I sent. Clearly, it was expected. Clearly, he doesn’t care.

Screenshot_2018-10-11-11-48-08

The “A rated-BBB” cracked me up. As if the Better Business Bureau would give a scummy pyramid scheme a good rating.

Be careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

No, I didn’t ask to cancel my Gmail account

Scammers

Subject: Request to Terminate Your account has been accepted
From: AccountUpdate qAvmWq4@zbikfv.uk via physics.metu.edu.tr
Date: Apr 26 (10 days ago)
to _To: millions of people

Dear Gmail Customer,

You submitted a request to terminate your Gmail mail account and the process has started by our Gmail mail Team, Please give us 3 working days to close your mail account.

To cancel the termination request reply to this mail.

All files on your Gmail mail including (Inbox, Sent, Spam, Trash, Draft) will be deleted and access to your Gmail mail account will be Denied.

If you wish to Terminate your Email Address, you can Sign Up for a new Gmail mail account.

For further help please contact by replying to this mail.

Regards,
Gmail! Account Services

Please watch out for emails like this. No, I didn’t ask for my Gmail account to be terminated, and neither did you.

If you respond to the email, you will be confirming that you are a live sucker to these people:

reply@positndor.net,
replyme@pinewbrokers.net,
reply@raintrature.com,
hello@cestaticket.com.ve,
peru@minedu.gob.pe,
marco@geturoffrsnw.win,
admin@betterwithfn.com,
comm@edukouvola.fi,
notice@myegy.com

And it’s a penny to a quid that every one of them is a scammer who will do their best to get your personal information or your money.

How do you know this message is not from Gmail? It was sent from The Gmail! account team (Gmail doesn’t use a “!” in their name like “Yahoo!” does. In addition to that, the return address is:

AccountUpdate qAvmWq4@zbikfv.uk via physics.metu.edu.tr

A double redirect, one from the UK and one from Turkey. No, Virginia, that’s not Gmail.

Be careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Don’t reply to spam. Ever.

This should go without saying, but I just thought I’d point out one of many reasons why you should never respond to spam messages.

spam

(We wanted to let you know that we noticed that you still did not claim your $200 Amazon-shopping bonus that was gifted to you as a thank you for your business in past.
Please be sure to claim this before Aug 25
But Hurry! This Ends on Aug 25!
Please Go Here Now to Claim Your $200 Amazon-Shopping Bonus)

Click on the “Claim Your Bonus” link and your email program will generate a message to the following addresses:

  • info@delopment.net
  • sports@southeoffice.com,
  • mailtech@provintimate.net
  • reply@republck.com
  • info@templervices.net

Whatever message you send, such as “Ooh yes I want my bonus” or whatever, you have just given a live email address to five spammers/criminals/scammers or Mogg knows what, with a loud additional shout: “I am a sucker! Please Scam Me!”

Just don’t. Never respond to anything in your Spam box, and if you get email from people you have never done business with, delete it at once.

Be careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

WordPress users, please use strong passwords

Just got phishing spam from bad guys pretending to the Bank of Ireland. Here’s the email:

Bank of Ireland Phishing

If you are fooled into clicking the link, you are redirected to:

http://personalbanking.bankofireland.obfusticated.com/ie/ie/authentication.html?e1s1

The “obfusticated” prevents anyone from actually going to the bad site, and protects the wordpress user whose website (“obfusticated.com”) has been compromised. For what it’s worth, I’ve done my best to warn the individual involved that there is a problem at their website.

The gateway page is below. It looks very official, but don’t let that fool you. It’s a fake.

Bank of Ireland Phishing 2

Then you get to give the criminals your login PIN:

Bank of Ireland Phishing 3

The malicious code appears to fail the first time and makes you re-enter the data. It doesn’t matter what you put in the second time, you’ll advance to the next page:

Bank of Ireland Phishing 4

Please be aware: BANKS WILL NEVER DO THIS. NEVER GIVE OUT SENSITIVE INFORMATION BY EMAIL OR ON THE WEB.

Next you are asked to hand the criminals your credit card password.

Bank of Ireland Phishing 5

Once they have your data – or in my case, a whole raft of obscenities – you are redirected to the real Bank of Ireland website.

If you have a WordPress blog (or any other website) please make sure you are using strong passwords. If bad guys get in, they can park malicious code in your web space and direct their victims there, not to mention steal whatever valuable data is there.

Never give out sensitive financial information over the web. If you suspect your accounts have truly been compromised or locked, call your bank directly and ask for verification.

Be careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Dear Google News, what the hqiz is this?

I’m used to seeing all sorts of spam and junk ads on the internet – not so much since I have ad blockers at work for me, but a lot of the ads on pages are served up in ways that ad blockers don’t identify them as such.

But when I go to Google News, I expect news articles and not clickbait, bayesian-filtered camel ejecta.

Here’s my news feed this morning (click the image for a larger view):

health

Look at the last five items. Obviously computer-generated text with garbage descriptions designed to thwart bayesian filtering. These are not even tagged as obvious advertisements as they should be.

Even though the “sources” show “The Boyne City Gazette” and “The Inland Empire News,” each link takes you via multiple redirects to “topcanadiandrugs24rx,” a scummy outfit probably operating out of India or Eastern Europe.

canada

Click on the “Real Time Coverage” button for the “story” and this is what you get:

realtime

Come on, Google – you can do better than that.

The Old Wolf has Spoken.

Domain Registraton Scam – Bad Actors from China

Be careful out there. I just got this email the other day, and while it looked dodgy from the outset, I thought I’d follow it down the rabbit hole to see where it went.

Dear sir or madam,

We are a registrar for domain names authorized by Chinese government. Today, we received an application from Daoc International ltd applying to register [domain] as their brand name and some top-level domain names(.CN .HK etc). After our initail checking, We found the main body of domain names is same as yours.

We are handling the application and we need to confirm whether or not you authorize them to register them? Let me know your positon ASAP so as to solve it promptly. Looking forward to your reply.

Best regards,
Elvin Lee
Tel:+86-551- 6349 1191
Fax:+86-551- 6349 1192
Address:No.413,Changjiang Road,Hefei City,Anhui Province

OK. So I simply responded and said, “These domains are not authorized, thank you.”

Next up:

Notice: regarding this case, we did not receive any of your reply until now. Concerning the mentioned brand name please confirm whether you need to register by yourselves? If need, please let us know in time, we can send an application form to you. If you think the registration of that company or the use of the brand name will not bring any negative effect to your company, i suggest you can give up the brand name, then we will accept that company application unconditionally. Further questions please contact me in time.

Followed the same day by this:

Notice: hi, i am Elvin Lee. We had discussed the case about disputing your company’s brand name. You have never registered the brand name, the dispute period will come soon. If your company does not register the brand name, we will start aforesaid company registration within 2 workdays. That company will become the legal owner of the brand name in the world. We had notified you, so we are not responsible for any dispute question about your intellectual property right and trademark after they succeed in registration. If you have any questions, pls contact us within 2 workdays.

Basically telling me I’ll lose worldwide rights to my domain name if I don’t quickly take action, or alternatively, I should abandon my own domain so that they can legally register it with other companies.

Lastly, today:

Thanks for your confirmation. As soon as receiving the application of that company, we checked and found [domain] is your company’s using name. We are concerned that your name might be affected negatively by their applications, this is why we informed you. Following brand name and domain names are applied by that company:
Brand name:
[domain]
Domain names:
[domain].asia
[domain].cn
[domain].com.cn
[domain].com.hk
[domain].com.tw
[domain].hk
[domain].in
[domain].net.cn
[domain].org.cn
[domain].tw
[domain].co.in

You know that the domain names registration is open in the world, that company also has the right to apply for the available domain names. You only have the preferential rights to register them.

At present, we haven’t passed their application, we need your opinion. If your company consider these names of importance to your company’s business or interest, i suggest that your company register these names first so as to avoid confusion or speculation. Of course, If you don’t think their application will affect your company in the future, you can give up these names so that we can finish registering for them. Please give me your company’s decision as soon as possible.
Uh, no. While I have no doubt that there are many good and honest Chinese businesses, this is not one of them – in fact, falls under the rubric of “morals of a honey badger.”
Above and beyond the standard advice, “Never deal with spammers,” I’d add that you be extraordinarily careful when unsolicited business proposals come from China – in other words, be doubly vigilant.
The Old Wolf has spoken.

An especially convincing Phishing scam

Here’s the email that came to me yesterday:

Image1

  1. Notice that it appears to come from “Paypal.com,”  However, the original sender was 23.249.163.109 (if even that’s not spoofed) which is in Buffalo, NY rather than PayPal’s headquarters which is in California.
  2. Second, the message is an image rather than text. That’s a red flag right there. The images link back to:

These are definitely nothing linked to PayPal. So we know even without any further examination that we are dealing with a phishing scam.

The image itself, if you click on it, will lead you to a long URL which actually contains the email address that their phishing email was sent to. If you click on these links, they know who you are.

http://redirect.paypal.com.0.session…..=MyEmailAddress@comcast.net

Image2

So notice that when you get to the phishing website, they already have your email address. This is what makes the scam more credible – they’re not asking for your PayPal ID, because they are counting on the fact that you use your same email address as your PayPal address, and they already have that.

If you foolishly enter your password, the first thing you’ll see is this bit of misdirection:

Image3

But that’s just a clever bit of misdirection. So you try again, and this is what you get next:

Image4

Which soon passes to:

Image5

And off to the races we go.

REMEMBER: Banks or PayPal or other financial institutions will NEVER ask you to verify information like this via email. All such requests are SCAMS.

When I check out websites like this (don’t try this at home – you could also be picking up a lot of malware if you’re not properly protected), I usually enter really insulting phrases for names, cities, and so forth. It’s a small thing, but it’s really the only way I can get under the skins of these criminals.

Image6

That billing address is nothing I would ever want to repeat in polite company – but notice that the scammers are trying to make their victim think they already have a credit card on file, and you’re just supposed to verify it.

Image7

So again I give them some bogus information that could never be used as a real card or be used to hurt anyone else.

Image8

The last screen will redirect the victim, once they have handed over their sensitive information to thieves, to the real PayPal website. Notice however – nothing else on the page works. All the other links are non-existent.

This scam is well-contrived enough that I fear any number of people will be taken in.

The most important thing to remember is that, as I said before, PayPal will NEVER ask you to give up sensitive financial information like this through an email message.

Be careful out there, and protect your loved ones.

The Old Wolf has spoken.