Category: Uncategorized

The Amazon Order Cancellation Scam

You receive an email that seems to be from order-update @amazon.com. It is addressed to my email address, not ‘unknown recipients’ or blank as most phishing emails are usually addressed.

The title is “Amazon.com – Your Cancellation 139-216896-257848336”

This looks genuine.

The email describes the cancellation of an order yesterday and the relevant book title and details.

There is a link to the order to review it and at the bottom of the email there is a link to Amazon.

Both of these links are fake – they go to davidestore.com which is clearly not Amazon.

These phishing emails look very professional – an exact match for Amazon emails and no spelling mistakes or poor grammar.

Many people use a family account for Amazon so may not immediately recognise the email to be fake.

Do not be tempted to click on the links to see what happens or unthinkingly believing it will get you to the relevant Amazon page – because it won’t. The link is to a fake version of an Amazon page and it just wants your Amazon access details so the thieves can plunder your Amazon account.

What about the fact that the email appears to be from Amazon?

The senders have ‘spoofed’ the Amazon address so the email does appear to be from Amazon. This is more difficult to do than the average scammer will bother with but some do use this spoofing technique to make their messages seem more genuine.  (http://www.fightbackonline.org/index.php/guidance/12-explanations/63-the-problem-of-fake-emails  tells you more about spoofing)

What should you do if you receive one of these phishing emails that seems to be from Amazon?

Amazon say the best approach is to send the phishing email as an attachment to stop-spoofing@amazon.com and they will be able to establish where the email originated and hopefully stop the perpetrators.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

Marz: Use This Spray and Watch the Weight Drop Off

The email title is “Lose 50 Kilos in 2 months

That’s almost 1 kilo per day – pretty extreme. Plus, even amongst very overweight people – there’s only a small number would actually want to lose 50 kilos.

The tagline is “Just one pump is more effective than a full 6 mile run”

Supposedly the product also cleans all toxins from your body and you lose weight without having to watch what you eat.

Too good to be true?

Of course it is, so it’s a scam.

The majority of the email is taken up with reference to an American TV programme called the Shark Tank which is similar to Dragons Den in the UK. A bunch of business people assess new products and services brought to them by entrepreneurs seeking cash and  advice.

This product was on Shark Tank and received a mixed reception with some liking, some disliking and one calling it a scam.

Is the product any good?

You have to judge that for yourself (and the Shark Tank interview is on Youtube) but the following points may help:-

  • The spray is basically a lot of vitamins – that’s fine as long as the doses are appropriate
  • It contains a number of substances such as Caffeine and Guarana that some people believe can help with weight reduction, but there is a lack of proper scientific evidence to support this.
  • The only direct evidence for the product is anecdotal i.e. some people who have used the product believe in it

The product continues to sell – so it has believers, but it’s not cheap and there is a lack of hard evidence of any effectiveness beyond that of standard vitamin supplements.

However, even if the product is genuine – do not click on the links in the spam emails, as these are almost certainly fake. If you want the product – go to the original supplier in America.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

How to Freeze Your Credit

This is not about stopping paying interest or anything similar. It’s about protecting yourself against scammers opening new lines of credit in your name.

It may be a somewhat extreme approach, but for some afflicted by scammers – choosing to freeze their credit accounts and blocking the ability to take out more credit can be a sensible if temporary move.

How to Freeze Your Credit Cards

You have to contact each of your credit card providers and either cancel the card or request that they block the card for a period. Asking to freeze your card (while still paying any interest due) is a rare request and they may not want to co-operate. However if necessary you can always cancel the card and open a new account after you  no longer feel the need to block access.

How to Stop Scammers Taking Out New Lines of Credit

You have to contact each of the three primary credit bureaus and request a block on new credit. They will give you a 10 digit pin number without which no-one can take out new credit cards etc in your name even if they have all the necessary other information about you.

Equifax:  www.equifax.co.uk  or call 0845-603-3000.

Call Credit : www.calcredit.co.uk or call 0330-024-7574

Experian: www.experian.co.uk   or call 0344-481-0800

Credit freezes can be a hassle if you need to unfreeze your reports because you’re applying for a loan for example, it can take several days to unfreeze it and allow access.

A credit freeze won’t help prevent fraud on existing accounts, which constitutes 88 percent of identity theft.

Regular Reports

It makes sense to regularly check your credit reports. You get one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus.

Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment

I am not trying to sell you anything

I love calls that begin with ‘I am not trying to sell you anything’ because it’s an absolute guarantee that that is exactly what they are trying to do.

Sometimes one person will ask you all manner of questions, supposedly in the form of an independent survey, and then pass you on to a second person for the inevitable hard sell.

The advice has to be to tell them nothing. Any information, no matter how obscure, will give them an opportunity to attempt to sell you something.