Francis received the following typical scam email (complete with grammatical and spelling mistakes)
I have $15.7 million dollars laying in an escrow account in my head office here in Sierra Leone, the fund was over due payment for contractor 4year ago.
I am seeking your help to present you as the beneficiary to the fund,so that you can contact my Bank Head Office for up transfer of the fund into your account. You are to forward me your details, Your Full name, Your age, Your address, Id card and Telephone number.
Mr Hassan Malik.
Dear Mr. Malik,
Thanks very much. But I don’t need your money as I have 457,452,743 billion dollars in a large suitcase I found at the side of the road.
As you only have $15.7 million would you like some of mine?
Now get lost and stop wasting my time you devious and crooked half-wit
Well said Sir.
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Surrey Police are urging people to be wary of phone calls leading to scams and victims have recorded more than £180,000 in losses to these scams within months.
e.g. an elderly lady from Surrey was phoned by a man claiming to be from BT and he had called to warn her that they were going to turn her Internet connection off for 24 hours for improvements.
He directed her to a website to download some test software and informed her that compensation would be paid. He just needed her bank details to make the transfer. With that information, the scam moved up a gear and he convinced her to transfer all the money in her account to one he controlled.
The Police warn that these callers target the elderly and will take any money they can get.
They also warn everyone to be careful on receiving an unsolicited call-
Do not give financial details to anyone by phone
Do not make payment for a service you did not request
Do not allow anyone to have remote access to your computer
Trust your instincts – if unsure then end the conversation
If you have any experiences with such scams do let me know, by email.
Phishing Tackle at https://www.phishingtackle.com/ offer a range of online courses to help keep businesses safe from Phishing scams. These scams are where scammers send out messages (usually by email but can also be by text and phone call) claiming to be a trusted organisation e.g. HMRC, local council, Marks and Spencers, Nat West Bank, The Police and so on. They are after your personal information and especially login and password information and financial details.
Over 90% of data breaches are caused by an end-user clicking on a phishing email and Phishing Tackle say they reduce the risk of people clicking on phishing emails.
Phishing Tackle’s automated online security awareness training, simulated phishing and policy management platform reduces the risk of end-users clicking on phishing emails by over 90% – that’s the claim.
Website resources include:-
A click-prone test
Domain spoof test
And lots of information on various types of online scams.
Free Phishing Awareness & Training is available to not-for-profits in some cases.
They also offer a manged service to protect businesses.
The website is a good resource for those looking to protect their business from Phishing scams
If you have any experiences with phishing scams do let me know, by email.
The domain name for your business is an important choice and it should be protected against hackers trying to steal the domain name or the customer traffic it gets.
Once you have a domain name e.g. mybusiness.co.uk then you face the choice of whether it’s worth buying the same name with different extensions e.g. mybusiness.com, mybusiness.uk, mybusiness.london etc.
If you think you might lose customers to other variants on your domain name, then it may be worth the extra small cost to buy more domain names and redirect the traffic from them to your main site, otherwise it could be pointless.
Some people specialise in buying and selling domain names.
They have two basic ways of working-
They look for variants on high profile web site names and see if they can buy any similar names. These might be misspellings on the original name or very similar names or the same name with different extensions etc. They buy up any they think will sell for a high price.
They do as above but don’t actually buy any domain names.
They can then contact the owner of the high profile web site and offer to sell them the variants and spin a story on how it is essential for the owner to buy all variants on the name.
For the ones who take the risk and buy the domain names, it’s a little akin to blackmail but they take a risk and see which ones pay off and it is legal.
For those who don’t risk their own money (i.e. don’t buy the domain names and just pretend to have them) it is legal but more of a con as the owner can just buy the domain names they want directly without having to pay an inflated cost from the scammer.
If you have any experiences with phishing scams do let me know, by email.
There are endless spam emails designed to get you to supply the scammer with your name, address, personal information and even financial information.
Recently a lot have appeared to be from China. This may be false of course, as most of these messages use personal email addresses (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail etc.) which anyone from anywhere in the world can get.
An example of the latest such messages – “This is an official request for Professional consultants from USA or UK only to stand as our official representative to run logistics on behalf of Shougang Group.”.
It goes on to say you will be paid $5,000 per month and will keep 10% of all charges to your customers.
Clearly, any legitimate company wanting representatives in foreign countries would go through a careful recruitment process, not send out bulk emails to vast numbers of unknown people.
The point of the message is to get you to supply them with a list of personal information specified at the bottom of the email and it even claims you can do the work while full time employed in your current job.
We really hope no-one responds to this very obvious phishing email or any similar ones.
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“Christian Healthcare Group” wants to offer insurance at a better price than the so called “expensive insurance marketplace”. Might be a good offer but it’s from an odd email address badpushposture.bid which should be an auction house but more likely belongs to a scammer. No thanks.
“A shocking new study shows that over a third of Americans suffer from arthritis”. That’s not really a surprise as arthritis is very prevalent in older people. The message goes on “The biggest natural pain relief cover-up in history”. That’s the standard scammer language – suggesting a conspiracy. “I’m about to show you what your doctor has been lying to you about”. This is all lies of course as the scammer has nothing of any value to offer.
A message that appears to be from the Dropbox service wants me to confirm my email address. This scammer has ‘spoofed’ their email address so it really does appear to be from Dropbox. However the link to click to confirm is the giveaway as it’s to ‘bibitca.net’ which is not Dropbox.
Another notification arrives claiming to be from PayPal and wants me to click to release my account. As the message is from payservices.org rather than PayPal – no thanks.
Apparently, my subscription for Photo Editing is due for renewal at only $4.99 per week. Click to manage the subscription. This is a simple phishing scam. Clicking the link brings up a login/password box and if I entered those details, the information would be sent to the scammer. Not for me.
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