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FAQ - Internet Scams


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Computer ‘scamming’ is on the increase and getting much, much, more clever. The two most popular scams are the ‘Boys from Lagos’ and the ‘International Lottery’ the latter being made more famous by recent TV advertising.

 

The ‘Boys from Lagos’ scam (it’s called this because it is believed to have originated from there) involves a promise of a percentage from a very large sum of money that a person wants to get out of a country, bank etc without anybody knowing (would be illegal in it’s self anyway). They will offer you 20 to 40% of something like $20M for your help. You may well laugh but you would be amazed that some people actually believe it and pay the $10 to $20k ’legal fees’ and still have not seen sight of their money. I recently had one from Lloyds Bank in London; I have also had one in French.

 

The ‘International Lottery’ is an email telling you that you have won a considerable sum of money on a lottery and to contact them by phone. When you do there will be a 600€ processing fee and guess what, you never see the money. Even worse the phone number is premium rate.

 

The new generation of scams are even more cleaver and involve what appears to be genuine emails from banks or Ebay. It usually tells you there is a security problem and that you should click on the very genuine looking link below and follow the instructions, failure to do so will mean your account will be suspended in 72 hours. The link then takes you to a web page that asks for your personal details including your bank/credit card details to verify your account. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU EVER DO THIS EVEN IF IT APPEARS TO BE A SECURE LINK. Contact your bank immediately and check with them, they will tell you that they never, I repeat never, send these type of emails out.

 

Unfortunately there is not much the police can do about this as the website is often outside the country and therefore their jurisdiction. There is a good, and very funny, website called http://www.scamorama.com which deals with ‘The boys from Lagos’ where you can see samples of their letters and shows you how to have some fun with them.

 

Golden rule, if it looks to good to be true, it probably is. No bank ever asks for personal details via an email.

 

You have been warned

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  • 1 year later...

Originally posted by Quillan:

 

I received an French email yesterday which is a spin on a old scam that has been doing the rounds.

 

In it’s original form the scam appears to be a job offer from Honda. The basic idea is that you will become a financial agent in Europe for them. They will send small engines to Europe, the type that power lawn mowers etc and you will collect the money on their behalf, take a commission and forward the balance by Western Union.

 

The French version is about doing the same thing for a finance house based in the UK and again taking a cut and sending money by Western Union.

 

In both cases you will be sent cheques or bank drafts for a lot of money. You forward the money on (less your commission) by Western Union and then of course 6 to 8 weeks later the bank phones you to tell you the cheques or bank drafts are forged.

 

Why does it take a while for these scams to be spotted? Well when they first start out and people loose money they are never too happy about letting others know they have been taken as a fool by these people so they tend to keep quite. So it takes a bit of time for it to become a recognised scam.

 

I can give you two tips. Never get involved in anything that looks to good to be true and never use Western Union. The reason for not using Western Union is NOT because they are not a reputable company but because they are not secure. By this I mean the money is wired and a person needs only a passport as proof of ID to get the money at the other end in cash. Nobody knows where they live and you can’t get your money back.

 

As a side issue, if you use Ebay never use Western Union either, especially this time of year (Christmas), you won’t receive the goods. Ebay strongly advise never to use them or any other company that uses the same method of money transfer.

 

Having said that Western Union is very good for sending money to family and friends that you know well anywhere in the world. We used them when our daughter had her handbag stolen on holiday and she had the  money in hours.


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  • 9 months later...
  • 2 months later...
I got an e-mail this morning purporting to be from the microsoft award team telling me I had won one million pounds in their 'commemorative lottery'.  The English was very poor.  I was invited to ring a UK number to claim the prize.  I know there is somewhere I am supposed to report this to, but I can't  remember where - does anyone know the correct place?

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  • 3 weeks later...
Hi All,

If you get scams, feel free to pass them onto me. I run a anti-scam blog (plus other stuff) and post scams and my scam baiting exploits.

A link to my blog is below and you can contact me via there (top righthand side).

Keep safe.
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  • 2 months later...

Hi Richard, I suppose that you have seen this one. It arrived, 3 times, over night last night!!!

Of course,, I will pass on all my bank details to them, like hell!

"Dear PayPal User,

We are sorry to inform you that due to our recent security improvements you must
confirm your account information in order to keep it running in a perfect condition.
You are requested by PayPal to Log on
and to verify all the requested information.

Please notice that submiting wrong information may lead to PayPal account removal.

We know that is an inconvinience to you, but please understand that this is a very
important security measure for us for keeping your account safe and secure.
If you have any questions feel free to contact us at any time

You can confirm your account information by clicking the link bellow:



Best Regards
PayPal Account Mentainance Team.
Copyright 1999-2007 PayPal. All rights reserved. "

Post edited by forum mods to remove links to scam site.

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Trouble is there are legions of numpties out there who WILL respond and as long as there are Phishing scams will continue.................[:-))]

The out and out ignorance and stupidity of the so called "man in the street" never ceases to astound me, all present company excepted I'm sure [;-)]

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No I didn't James, not a chance!!

I look at it this way, if someone is asking for credit details in an e-mail then it is a scam. Although I did once have a querie from an American company that I had ordered some kit from. They asked me all sorts of questions and as I had ordered the kit on a secure web site I actually replied to it asking them questions that only they could know via the secure site. They got all shirty with me, but eventually realised that it was a pretty stupid way to do it?? I got my kit and they got their money...

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[quote user="jamesg"]I have 2 free programs installed which can stop you being caught by these:

www.siteadvisor.com/

www.vengine.com/

Either of these can show you if a site is genuine.

[/quote]I have one installed in my brain by default, it's called "Common Sense"............[:D]
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It's not a question of quick thinking jamesg.

You have all the time in the world to mull over that "urgent" email from your Bank/Paypal/Nigerian ex Government official with $$$ Billions stuck in a Swiss account/WHY.

Why any sort of right thinking rational person responds to these is what astounds me, yet respond they do hence the scamsters persist [8-)]

I too have reached the age when I frequently reach the top of the stairs only to completely forget what I went up them for, and I only have 3 steps in my split level house...........[+o(]

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[quote user="ErnieY"]

Why any sort of right thinking rational person responds to these is what astounds me, yet respond they do hence the scamsters persist [8-)]

[/quote]

Yes Ernie, there are a lot of bad guys around  and a lot of people who don't think, so need protecting from their own stupidity.   I decided to have a look at this redirect site as I have very good protection.   Site Adviser has blocked my access to it and showed it as a scam, so it would not have tricked anyone with that program installed.

I was looking at the Protecting Your Computer FAQs, which seems to be completely out of date and even dangerous.   I wonder what you think?

I wouldn't dream of advising anyone to use HiJack This without expert guidance for instance.

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True the FAQ might be a bit old but it's still reasonably valid and I don't think I would describe it as dangerous.

All I use are AVG, Spybot and Adaware and I can't remember the last time I had a problem with a virus or any other nasty.

Unfortunately it really boils down to ignorance and complacency. For instance, how many people I wonder are still using a trial AV which came with their PC and has never been updated since the trial period expired which may have been month's or even years ago ?

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The only 2 things it's reported on my system are Adobe Acrobat Reader 5 (I like it because it's fast) and Winzip 8 (can't think why it's complaining about that).

BTW, horror of horrors, I never ever download any XP "security" updates as 99% of them address vague esoteric vunerabilities of zero consequence to your average Joe.

I regularly scan with ShieldsUp  https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2  which invariably gives me a clean bill of health [;-)]

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  • 2 months later...

Hi,

Some elderly French neighbours came to me yesterday.  Their son had found in Ouest France a 2003 LHD French registered Passat for sale in Scotland.  Price 4500 euros.  They contacted the person via Email and had a reply.  It asked them to send 1200 via Weston Union to an outfit called Pet-Forwarding Inc.  The person selling the car one "Steve Thompson of 10 Crown Street, Aberdeen" then undertook to transport the car to France when the balance was to be paid. 

Five minutes research showed the Pet-Forwarding site to be suspended and also listed on the 914 scam list.  My advice to them was to leave it alone, sad they cannot get the car for well below market price but better not to risk it.  I gather that there is a VW Golf now listed in the paper for an equally silly price.

Do you know of this one?

Lehaut

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I'll be in Aberdeen on Tuesday and I know exactly where No. 10 Crown Street is so perhaps I'll check it out, I can just see the surprised look on Mr Thompsons face.

Of course if it's genuine and a "good un" I might be tempted to buy it myself and bring it to France when I come back in 2 weeks time.

Somehow I doubt this will happen though so I wonder, do I go for the traditional dog sh*t through the letterbox of No. 10 (plenty of that on Union Street) or my personal favourite, peeing through it....[Www]

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Do let us know how you get on, have a look at the Golf when you are there.  Personally I prefer wrapping the excrement in newspaper, setting light to it on the door step then ringing the bell.  Stamping on it whilst hot seems to spread it further.[+o(]
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My, my, what a sheltered life I must have lead?? Just make sure that they haven't gota dog that grabs anything that's stuck through that letter box or you could be in the very embarassing position of having to ask for some personal possesions back [+o(]. Also make sure the spring on it is not TOOOOO strong or see above!??[6]

I like your idea Lehaut [:D][:D][:D]

Please ket us know the reaction of you knocking on the door though Andy!!!

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