Stupidest Spam of the Week Ultra Violet Flashlight

You have probably seen lots of spam emails offering various ultra violet light products – lamps and flashlights especially.

These have a variety of uses but in these days of Covid-19 they are sold as an easy way to kill off bacteria and viruses on most surfaces.

Hospitals use these lights to sterilize surgical equipment, water suppliers often use ultra violet light to kill anything in the water, engineers may use ultra violet scanners for inspecting metal parts and there’s tanning and skin treatments and more. In a lot of fast food outlets you will see blue fluorescent tubes in a cage on the wall – the ultra violet attracts the flying insects and the bars electrocute them.

Do ultra violet lights work?

Yes.

But there’s nothing new or unusual in using these lights.

So, the latest batches of spam emails proclaiming the world’s first ultraviolet light to kill bacteria is unexpectedly stupid. And this is supposedly to work on people.

These devices are fine but any that are strong enough to kill viruses can also damage people.  They are good for sterilizing surgical kit but used on a person would burn them to a crisp by the time there had been enough ultra violet exposure to kill an infection.

Not recommended.

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Gmail Customised Emails

There are various online services that let you create disposable email addresses. These are for times when you want to use an email address once then delete it or be able to delete it if spam emails start arriving.

For example:

  • If you want register to download a document or brochure etc. but don’t want to get follow up sales emails
  • To register on a website where you think they are likely to sell your contact details to spammers
  • For someone you don’t really trust
  • To be able to track which services sell your contact details

Google doesn’t offer this disposable email address service but Gmail does have a facility  to create customized emails that you can then automatically delete that you can use to identify senders and filter incoming emails, so it is a little similar to disposable email addresses.

Step 1: When asked to input your email in an online service, you add a tag to your email address e.g. instead of fredbloggs @gmail.com you could use fredbloggs+uselessemail @gmail.com

Whatever is after the + sign will be ignored by Gmail.

Emails sent to that address will appear in your inbox alongside all of the others, but with that specific tag on the end of the address, they are very easy to eliminate or block entirely.

Step 2: You can setup Gmail filters to move such emails to another folder or to delete them if you wish.

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Fake Mystery Shopper Jobs

The email is titled “Mystery Shop your local Asda store” or could just as easily be Sainsburys, Morrisons, Tesco, Aldi etc.

This one claims to be from ASDA but is in fact from safe-sending.co.uk

It continues

Find out how to be a Supermarket Mystery Shopper below

We are looking for members to mystery shop at their local Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Iceland, ASDA, Morrisons and M&S stores. We want to know your thoughts on customer service, product range and store appearance. If you believe you can conduct a 500 word review with photos, please register for vouchers below.

  1. Register now and complete the lifestyle survey
  2. If successful we will send you vouchers to your address
  3. Complete a thorough analysis of your local supermarket
  4. Send us your review for display in the Product Testing Review Room

Then there’s a link to start the application.

Mystery shopper is one of those work from home jobs that a huge number of people would love to have. But there are very few such jobs, so scammers use the attraction of these jobs to lure people. In this case they just want you to fil in their survey as that’s what they get paid for.  They don’t have any mystery shopper jobs – it’s just a con by a marketing agency.

If you’re looking for a mystery shopper job, do make sure there is a real job available before giving your personal information to anyone.

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How to Make Your Website Trustworthy

The first steps in having your website trusted are the obvious ones – make sure there is nothing that would concern people e.g. selling items of dubious or inconsistent quality, excessive advertising, advertising of business such as gambling, over promising on products or services then being unable to meet those promises, poor customer service, excessive profit margins, inaccurate advertising, poor quality website etc.

You have to provide good products at the right price and back that up with excellent customer service.

Once you have eliminated anything that could put people off then you’re left with two basic things – building a good reputation and hoping for great online reviews by your customers.

These both need a lot of time and effort to happen. Good reputations don’t happen overnight and people will only add great reviews when your sales process, quality of products and services, customer service etc. are top notch.

Note that Marketing cannot increase the trustworthiness of your web site.

There is another way to increase trust and that is to become accredited by the various relevant bodies for whatever industry you are in and also to be accredited or registered with the various bodies that review websites.

Recent research shows that most customers don’t understand security on the Internet but they do trust various organisations and hence trust their judgements on trustworthy websites.

To the question “Which badge gives you the best sense of trust when paying online” the results show

  • Norton 36%
  • MacAfee 23%
  • TRUSTe
  • BBB

Other badges did also register but these four were the most recognised and trusted by far.

To get Norton accreditation – you simply buy a Symantec SSL certificate and implement that on your website.

The other companies listed above require more than an SSL certificate.

As well as the trusted badges, in assessing a website, consumers report that they look for qualities including

  • up to date information
  • fresh content
  • easy ways to contact the business
  • honesty about any problems
  • negative customer comments as well as positive ones are evidence of honesty
  • where appropriate – pictures of the management.

Make your website trusted for genuine reasons – don’t shortcut.

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Fake Business Opportunity

There are numerous versions of this scam but a typical one is to offer a distributorship for some standard business product or a franchise for a successful business or a reseller opportunity.

The price is kept low so as entice people who are desperate to make money.

A typical example email:-

Hi,

I wanted to follow-up from last week.

28 year old U.S. company needs additional distributors world-wide.

US distributorships not available.

We make dangerous, slippery floors slip resistant and safer.

Our customers include McDonalds, Burger King, Holiday Inns, Toyota, Pfizer etc.

Award winning safety products. Big profit margins.

Minimum $500 product investment required.

…………………………

There’s no company name, no contact details, no website for the product, no photos of the product etc. so clearly it’s all just a simple scam.

The email address is @yandex.com which is one the biggest Russian Internet businesses and is a favourite for scammers to use for their email.

No thanks – you can keep you safety products, even if they exist.

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