Thursday, March 29, 2012

No! I'm Not Falling For That One!

I received an E-mail message informing me that someone had posted something about me on twitter; the message came with a “click here”in order to view the twitter mention.

Although the email feels suspicious, I decided to play along; when I clicked on the “click here” link I was directed to the Twitter Sign On page with the message “Your session has timed out, please re – login.”

As I looked at the URL address this site has, I got the whole idea.
Another Lame method to steal accounts

Before you type in your credentials to login to any website, look closely at the URL. Don’t fall for these silly tricks.

facebook , twitter, hotmail and many other websites use https and not http in their “Login Page”.
It is a very good idea to look for https before you login.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Scams: Sometimes It Is Too Obvious!

Last week I heard my friend bragging about getting a Job Offer as a regional director for the newly established branches of an "international" chain of hotels that originally operate in the Far East.
This company is in the process of expanding its market by opening in the Middle East, and therefore after doing lots of screening and short listing, they have hand selected "My Friend", (which is by the way a fresh graduate – with less than one year of accounting experience) to lead the company in its new endeavor.
Stupid enough, "My Friend" had sent them an updated CV, along with a photocopy of his passport (for visa purposes, of course), and to make things more legit, they also asked him to send two recommendations. He was also asked to wire 275 USD as processing fees including visa and work permit application.
I spent more than one hour explaining to him that he has been subject to a phishing scam and the money that is about to be transferred will be lost, and the company that is offering the job does not exist.
Phishing is an online identity theft technique used to trick users into disclosing their personally identifiable information. Customers are usually sent emails, pop-ups, and instant messages that appear legitimate communications. These Communications prompt the user to visit fraudulent websites which have been created to gather their personal information
An internet fraud is the intentional use of internet services to take advantage, deceive, defraud, miss inform and miss lead victims.
Scam or Internet fraud refer to the use of Internet services to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, in order to conduct fraudulent transactions, or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected with the scheme.

Here are some of the Scams that I have come across during the last three months:

"419" Nigerian Scams

This is the most widely spread type of scams, Named for the violation of Section 419 of the Nigerian Criminal Code.

Scenario 1: The Dead Next of Kin
The scam starts by you receiving an email from "An attorney or a Banker, or a Beloved Wife". Other than using sometimes incorrect form of English, in order to give fake sense of urgency and compassion, the author of this email claims that your super extra rich next of kin had died and you (out of 7 billion people on the face of the earth) are the legal and righteous heir to the fortune of 10 Million USD

Scenario 2: The lottery
Now this is funny: Out of nowhere you receive an email informing you, "CONGRATULATIONS", you have won the Australian international Lottery. The amount: Two million five hundred seventy three thousand dollars is yours. Kindly inform us of your full name and mailing address in order to send your check.
After you willingly provide the scammers with your personal data, you receive an email requesting you to pay around 500 USD in processing and clearance fees.     

Charities Fraud

You receive an email: Sally is small girl, she is suffering from a rare kind of cancer and she needs chronic treatment, if you would like to contribute etc … "I think you know, what happens when you donate".

Investment Fraud

You receive an Email that offers products and pitches that may sound tempting but remember: If an investment opportunity sounds too good to be true, there is a big chance that it isn't true!

Job Scams

Work from home! - Earn 1000 USD per Day, working for 2 hours only - This sounds tempting, but you need to pay 600 USD for the primary training session enabling you to qualify for your job.
Come on People, you are more clever than this; Consumers deceived by these scams have lost thousands of dollars, in addition to their time and energy.

Online Pharmacy Fraud

Happy pills, sad pills, sleepy pills, wake up pills, sane pills, pain pills, brain pills, Man Pills: S C A M  
And many more other types and setups that lead to the same result: Financial Loss and identity theft

Protection against Phishing Scams

To protect yourself against phishing scams, you need to:
  • Exercise little bit awareness when you receive unknown email messages
  • Show some common sense (come on, you won a lottery that you haven't even participated in!!)
  • Google the parties that sends messages, especially if the message looks suspicious.
  • You should realize that there is nothing as "Get Rich Quickly"
·         You should know that: if the deal is too good, then it is too good to be true

Finally, help your friends by raising awareness regarding this issue. Although some scams are so clear and obvious to fall into, believe me some people do take the bait.