Beginning in June of 2015 The Daily Scam began seeing a group of similarly designed emails from strange domains with subject lines like “Your Amazon.com #5867 Order is almost complete” and “Your Amazon order is almost complete.”
At first we thought these were phishing scams meant to capture your login credentials to your Amazon account. Take a close look at a couple of these emails.
- They clearly don’t come from Amazon.com
- A mouse-over of the links reveal that they don’t lead back to Amazon.com
- Most contain large dark boxes with hidden text that is revealed by dragging through the text to highlight it. This is a spammer’s tactic to try to make the email seem legitimate to anti-spam servers.
- The emails lie to you. The recipients have no orders almost complete at Amazon.
The design of these emails and their links are all the same and suggest that they are all made by the same criminal gang. But when we asked several online services to check on the links these scam emails pointed to, none of them were identified as phishing scams. And yet the Zulu URL Risk Analyzer identified each one as 100% malicious. Looking more closely, we kept finding that the links in these malicious emails redirected to a website called “power-innovator.org.” This fact made us even more curious so we followed the links to power-innovator.org.
We were very surprised when we arrived at power-innovator.org to find a very slick website with an auto-start video spouting the remarkable energy-saving invention of Dr. Richard Goran.
The video went on to make make claims how his simple invention can save us money every month on our home electric bills for the “rest of your life!”
OK… Though we are not experts in evaluating electrical gadgets, we can spot a fraud ten miles away! Everything from the spammy-scammy Amazon emails to the hokey pitch from Dr. Goran on the power-innovator website smelled of a scam. But what was it a scam for? The end of the video pitch made it clear. For $49 we can purchase the secret of Dr. Richard Goran’s remarkable invention that will lower our energy bills.
Of course, the first we did was search Google for “power innovator” and the word scam. As you can imagine we found tens of thousands of links and on the first three pages returned by Google were dozens of links stating that this was nothing more than a consumer scam to separate you from your money. Here are a few of the links….
Yahoo discussion about this scam:
Who owns the website power-innovator.org? You’ll never know because the domain was registered to a WHOISGuard proxy service out of Panama on March 24, 2015. By the way, we also found references to the same scam about a year ago but directing people to “powerinnovator.com.” Who owns powerinnovator.com? Surprise! No idea….it too was registered with WHOISGuard proxy service in Panama in May of 2014. And Dr. Richard Goran? ….or Professor Goran? …or whatever you want to call him? He doesn’t exist. Try finding him on Google and the university he comes from. Nada. Does this sound legitimate to you?
Important note: be aware that there are many bogus websites that look legitimate and all supporting the power innovator as a real invention that works. Don’t fall for them! They are as fake as the invention and Dr. Goran.
Save your $49. And just delete those rediculous “order almost complete” emails that say they come from Amazon.