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Stupidest Scam or Spam of the Week

The email is titled “A Message From Your Brain [this is important]”

It starts

Hey, it’s your brain here and I have an important message for you.

I’m dying.

OK, I know I sound like an overly dramatic teenager.

And it’s because I’m being starved of one particular food

Keep denying me this food and eventually I’ll lose my ability to retrieve memories for you, tell your mouth to speak and move your arms and legs.

The message continues in this manner – ridiculous and very stupid.

Clearly this scammer has a flair for the melodramatic but it’s just a scam to get you to watch a video.

The scammer gets paid for each person who clicks to watch so she will write any rubbish to get you to make that click.

Pathetic.

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The Coffee Shop Facebook Like

A very clever way to demonstrate the danger of Facebook Likes was devised by CIFAS (Fraud Prevention Service) and BT.

They used a normal looking coffee shop with a sign in the window saying ’Like Us on Facebook for a Free Coffee and Croissant”.

People saw the sign and did ‘Like’ the coffee shop on their smart phones.. What they didn’t know was that a team of researchers watched their actions and trawled through Facebook and public websites to find them and any personal details they could find about the customer within a maximum of three minutes.

In the coffee shop, their free drink was made and the waitress listening in to the researchers on an earpiece then wrote that personal information on the drink.

The video is at http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/money/money-tips/coffee-shop-customers-shocked-by-like-stunt-in-cifas-data-to-go-video-11364071638280 3/9

The customers reactions are quite funny and range from suspicion to bafflement. Hidden cameras filmed their reactions and the film ends with the line ‘Don’t make it easy for fraudsters. Set your privacy settings’.

This is a great way to show how much of our personal information is online for anyone to find.

In 2015, 23,959 people aged 30 and under were victims of identity fraud. This is up from 15,766 in 2014, and is more than double the 11,000 victims in this age bracket in 2010.

People of all ages can be at risk of identity fraud of course.

Simon Dukes, Cifas Chief Executive, said: “Fraudsters are opportunists. As banks and lenders have become more adept at detecting false identities, fraudsters have focused on stealing and using genuine people’s details instead.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other online platforms are much more than just social media sites – they are now a hunting ground for identity thieves.

“We are urging people to check their privacy settings today and think twice about what they share. Social media is fantastic and the way we live our lives online gives us huge opportunities. Taking a few simple steps will help us to enjoy the benefits while reducing the risks. To a fraudster, the information we put online is a goldmine.”

Set the privacy settings on your social media profiles so only you  and people you trust can view them and be careful what you post as fraudsters can often access it.

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Marketing Lessons From a Scammer

The radio station has been receiving emails about a cure for Tinnitus for months.

Lots and lots of these emails and interestingly they are not just copies from the same email address but show Marketing skills.

So, one day there were four such messages – all clearly from the same scammer.

But named as being from Krystal, Amanda Alexander, Jan Morris and Cliff Robertson.

Scammers don’t bother doing things one at a time so she will have software that generates random names, probably pairing up randomly from a list of first names and surnames.

Next day another four emails and this time from Emilia, Stanley Mayes, Gilbert and Nancy Clarke.

Third day from Sean Lewis, Orville Beck, Donald Hughes , Sylvia and Brooke.

And so on each day.

The email addresses these are actually from follows a pattern as a syllable then a hyphen then a syllable then .date as the suffix. E.g. curst-fay.date,  alice-sib.date. This changes each day to make it harder for people to block the sender.

How about the actual contents of the messages?

These are well written i.e. no grammatical or spelling mistakes and neatly laid out on the page using colour, bold, underline and different fonts to present an attractive easily read message.

There are two basic messages

  1. MAKE THE RINGING IN YOUR EARS STOP

Doctors usually said it was impossible, however once her ears were silenced and the ringing was gone they were stunned.

All she did was drink this and it went away fast.

  1. For decades doctors believed tinnitus was an ear problem.

They were wrong.

Studies performed at leading universities around the world revealed that tinnitus is actually a brain problem that destroys the auditory cortex.

For all the effort this scammer puts into his messages, it’s a pity she cannot find a better way to earn a living than sending out dumb messages about tinnitus.

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The Battle Against Illegal Medicine Websites

There are countless Internet sites selling drugs and medicines, without prescription, that should only be available with a Doctor’s guidance and prescription.

The reasons people buy medicines from Internet sites can be just about saving money but can also be about anonymity, fear of approaching a doctor, ignorance of the dangers involved and so on.

There is a government campaign called #fakemeds with a website at https://fakemeds.campaign.gov.uk/

You can use this website to check if a website you are thinking of buying from is registered to sell medicines and you can report suspected fake medicines and suppliers.

The potentially dangerous products seized by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had not tested for safety and have been found in some cases stored in dirty, rat-infested warehouses and garden sheds. In 2016, MHRA seized more than 4.6 million fake medical products and closed thousands of websites selling medicines illegally.

The three key messages are

  1. More than half of all medicines bought online are fake
  2. Side effects can include heart attacks, strokes and death.
  3. Buying from dodgy websites also increases the risk of being ripped off through credit card fraud or having your identity stolen.

The #fakemeds campaign is run by MHRA and a recent study in co-operation with Slimming World shows:-

  • One in three slimmers have tried slimming pills purchased online.
  • Three quarters of slimmers (77%) were enticed by promises of rapid weight loss, more than half were attracted to being able to order discreetly (57%) and more than four in ten (44%) ordered online because they didn’t want to speak to a GP or pharmacist.
  • Nearly two-in-three (63%) suffered unpleasant side effects after taking slimming pills bought online. These side effects included diarrhoea, bleeding, blurred vision and heart problems. Worryingly, four out of five (81%) didn’t report these side effects to anyone.
  • Four out of 10 respondents said they had used the slimming pills knowing there were health risks, with more than six out of ten (62%) doing so because they were ‘desperate to lose weight’.

Be careful buying medicine online and if you should get a prescription for the product then do speak to your doctor and do not risk your health on cheap dodgy products.

More than 5,000 websites illegally selling prescription drugs were shut down in 2016.

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