Time-Wasters Update

So, what rubbish emails and calls have there been to Brooklands Radio station in the last few days?

An email from Sara asking for full-time work or to be an intern in order to gain experience in the field. But she has no idea who we are or what we do so it’s just a scam.

Another message supposedly from Whatsapp (there’s a few of these every week) telling us our trial subscription has ended. But we don’t have such a subscription so it cannot be ending and the email is from lifeteen.com which always means it’s a scam.

Mr. A James Lyon offering a free mortgage review. But he works for a Marketing company so he’s just trying to find leads to sell to mortgage companies. No thanks.

This email starts ”Did You hear the News?” and goes on about a man assaulted at a bar as he tried to collect his 5th winnings on the lottery. A surprising but still pitiful attempt to claim someone knows the secret to winning the lottery. It’s simple – the more you play the more chance you have of winning. But also the more you play the more you lose is the general experience.

Now a man who had discovered the secret that Big Pharma has tried to keep from us – the  cure for diabetes. Nope. The scammers only secret is their identity while they try to con money from people.

Do click on the Facebook or Twitter icons on top right to follow Fight Back Ninja

Research on Mass Marketing Fraud

There is a project led by Professor Monica Whitty of the University of Warwick and it involves a number of Universities, enforcement agencies and private sector businesses.

Project Outline:

The DAPM (Detecting and Preventing Mass Marketing Fraud) project will develop novel techniques to detect and prevent online mass marketing fraud (MMF), a major and growing problem that generates significant social anxiety and psychological impact. DAPM will establish new foundations for:

  • Detecting assumed identities and persuasive messaging used by fraudsters
  • Delivering much needed insights into the psychological and technical factors that lead to poor decision-making on the part of existing and prospective victims of such frauds

Through a multi-disciplinary approach and close focus on co-designing solutions collaboratively and testing them ‘in the wild’, the project will generate not only new scientific understanding of the anatomy of MMF, but also tools and techniques that can form the basis of practical interventions in tackling such fraud.

Importantly, this work brings together academic and non-academic partners. Each organisation has different knowledge to share and can tackle the problem using different methods. Combining academic research with technical knowledge provides much greater capability to prevent and detect MMF.

The outcomes of this project will enable:

  • Increased trust in the digital economy by citizens due to developed science around MMF detection and prevention
  • Improvements in public safety and fewer victims of MMF crime.

Changes in industry tactics and public policy around detection and prevention of MMF

This sounds impressive and potentially very useful in the fight against scammers.

Background

Mass Marketing Fraud is a serious, complex and organised crime. Examples include foreign lotteries, advanced-fee scams and romance scams. Some are low value, one-off scams involving large numbers of victims; others involve developing a relationship where money is defrauded over time. The internet has opened up a vast array of opportunities for criminals to target potential victims and to trick people into making financial transfers in the name of charity, investment or love.

In the UK Action Fraud estimate that less than 10% of victims actually report this type of crime. Victims are unlikely to recover losses, offenders are often not caught and many victims are affected psychologically – often to a degree outweighing the financial loss.

Go to https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/research/csc/research/dapm/ for further information.

Do click on the Facebook or Twitter icons on top right to follow Fight Back Ninja.

 

New Internet Domain Names

Brooklands Radio is obviously a radio station and the new Internet domain “.radio” has come available.

So in theory we could buy the domain name BrooklandsRadio.radio or Brooklands.radio or something similar if we wanted to.

“.radio” is an example of a domain name suffix or top level domain as they are called.

Many of these such as .com or .co.uk can be bought by anyone for maybe £5 – £20 per year.

And some are incredibly valuable such as Google.com or Microsoft.com or bbc.co.uk.

Some have protected registrations which means you can only own the domain if it is relevant to your business.  “.radio” is protected so only radio stations and business in the field of radio can buy such a domain name.

Why is there a need to protect domains? There are unfortunately a lot of people (claim jumpers) who buy domain names they think will be valuable then try to sell them at a profit to someone who needs that one.

If .radio was not protected then someone could buy up the domain bbc.radio for example and then sell it at an extortionate price to the BBC if they wanted it.  This can prevent people getting the domain names that they should have for their business.

Some of the recent new top level domains coming to market are

.charity.com

.theatre.com

.rugby.com

.smile.com

.motorcycles.com

.rsvp .com

.dad .com

.kid.com

.seek.com

And so on.

There’s a world of new domain names to choose from. But most businesses still use .com as it’s so well known.

Bob Servant Fights Back Against Scammers

Bob Servant likes dealing with scammers – and playing them at their own game.

The book “Delete This at Your Peril” gives eight of his best dialogues with scammers and they are very funny.

This is the story of Peter’s Pots by Bob Servant.

A typical scam email arrived.

“Dear Beloved,

I have a job offer for you. My name is Peter Anderson and I work with Union Ventures Inc . Ltd. We extract raw materials from Africa for clients in America and Canada.

We are looking for a representative in America to work for us part-time and are willing to pay you 10% for every transaction. These payments would come to you in your name. You cash it, deduct your payment and send the rest to us via Western Union.“

Bob replies: This sounds very interesting indeed. Can you tell me more about the raw materials you trade in as  my friend Frank Theplank is also a trader in raw materials.

Peter:  Union Ventures is number one registered company in West Africa that deals on all kinds of raw materials.

Bob: Frank asked me if you deal in rubber, timber or china pots?

Peter: Yes we deal in rubber, timber and china pots and can do discounts for your friend.

[lots more emails about various products, nights out, freezing weather, favourites foods etc. – all very silly, but the scammer doesn’t seem to notice]

Bob: Frank needs 2,000 pots for the end of the month for a major reworking of Dawson Park. It’s going to be “Frank’s World of Pots”.

Then a long description of Frank’s World of Pots – with lots of very silly features.

Peter agrees to provide the pots quickly and wants a $10,000 deposit.

Bob: The 2,000 pots are to be filled with different things. Some plants but also surprises like chocolate bars, yo-yos, magazines and Chinese food.

Peter: I think what you and Frank are to do will be a great success and I am glad Union Ventures will be part of this. The order will only take us a week and we will have the entire factory working on it. You must pay the $10,000 through Western Union so we can start on the work.

Bob:  Frank just called me from the dog track to say I have to make sure the pots are suitable for people to put their hands in without risking the hand getting stuck. This must include motorbike riders who haven’t taken their gloves off.

Peter keeps insisting on the payment by Western Union and Bob agrees but then invites Peter to come over with the delivery of pots and stay at his house.

This exchange goes on for weeks until eventually Peter makes an ultimatum and the game is over.

Bob’s website is at http://www.bobservant.com/

Do you have an opinion on this matter? Please comment in the box below.

Lexapro For Sale Online

The Internet is full of scams and spams about Viagra and herbal equivalents, but recently there have been a lot of emails and web sites trying to sell Lexapro.

This is an anti-depressant  and is widely prescribed.

The scammers and spammers appear to want to convince people that it’s like taking smarties – just buy as much as you want without prescription and take them anytime.

But, Lexapro is a powerful pharmaceutical and must only be taken on the direction of a doctor.

It is dangerous to use any such drug as if it were entirely benign – only a doctor can tell you if this is the right drug for your circumstances.

Common side-effects include:-

  • Constipation
  • diarrhoea
  • dry mouth
  • gas in the stomach

but there are also less common more serious  side effects.

Do not buy drugs on the Internet – you have no idea what’s in the tablets.

And do not self-medicate – trust your doctor.

Do you have an opinion on this matter? Please comment in the box below.

Top 10 Business Scams

The most common business scams are:-

1.      Ransomware

This is where malware gets into your computer and encrypts some of your files. It then gives a message on screen demanding a ransom to be paid; otherwise your files will be left encrypted or deleted.

2.      Phishing / Identity Fraud

This is where you receive messages claiming to be from someone trustworthy or in authority such as your bank or HMRC or the local council or even Marks and Spencer or Tesco etc. The message is to get you to divulge confidential information – whether by return email or by clicking on a link which takes you to what appears to be a valid website but was created by the scammers.

3.      Email Spoofing

Some scammers are able to ‘spoof’ email addresses i.e. make it appear that an email has come from who they say.  This can lead to you trusting the email, so this is dangerous.

4.      Tech Support virus scam

This is a very common scam where the caller claims they are calling from Microsoft or your Internet broadband supplier or IT department and tells you that you have a virus on your computer. The caller goes on to take control of your computer, convince you there is a major problem and charge you for removing that non-existent problem.

5.      Online Purchases – Fake invoices

You select and pay for an item online but it never arrives. Or you receive an invoice for goods delivered but it’s fake and there hasn’t been a delivery.

6.      Online Reputation Damage

The reputation of any organisation is important and some scammers try to make money by damaging or threatening to damage that reputation through fake reviews, social media comments and negative feedback.

7.      Advertising and Directories

These scams involve email or calls about updating your company entry in a business directory or about discount advertising available but only for a short period. Neither is value for money.  

8.     Government Grant

Government grant scam. This scam comes in the form of a phone call, email or letter informing you that your business qualifies for a government grant. In order to receive the grant, you must first send a processing or delivery fee, usually via Western Union or similar wire transfer.

9.      Fake Cheques

The fake cheque scam is either simply that you receive a fake cheque in payment for goods or a fake cheque that is an overpayment. The scammer then calls and asks for the over payment to be refunded. Many people don’t realise that after 5 working days the money from the cheque will be in your account but for two further working days it is possible the bank will withdraw that money if the cheque bounces. If someone overpays by cheque you need to wait 7 working days before issuing a refund.

10.  Unsolicited Goods

A delivery of goods is received and an invoice. All seems in order so the invoice is paid. Them it is realised that the person the goods are supposedly for did not order them. You have paid (probably much over the odds) for items you didn’t order.

Do enter your email address and click on the subscribe button on top right to keep up to date with new posts.