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December 28, 2014

We are always thankful for so many things this time of year and one of them is the fact that the avalanche of scams and spam we all feel drops off significantly because so many workplace computers are turned off and even the spammers and scammers take time off. People don’t realize that most spam in the world is sent by infected computers from our homes and work places. They aren’t sent from the spammer’s computers because that would make it too easy for law enforcement and service providers to trace and shut them down.

Here are a few of the scams that did arrive and warmed our eggnog-filled hearts. The first one is a perfect example of “if it looks too good to be true…” Should you have any doubt, check out the score our great cable deal received from the Zulu URL Risk Analyzer.

And the Solar Quote scam struck us as funny because it says it is from “Solar America” and tells us that many U.S. states may require no money down, yet the email was sent from “!” Remember, the “.uk” is a 2-letter country code that means it came from the United Kingdom.


Walgreens is Heavily Targeted by Scammers

Stores like Walgreens, Target, Kmart, CVS and Walmart seem to take a more disproportionate hit by scammers than do stores like Nordstrom, Macy’s, or Banana Republic. Our best guess is based on two points. The first is that the former stores serve larger volumes of people overall, and secondly that the people who are more likely to frequent these stores would be more interested in taking advantage of discounts and coupons because many of the scams that pretend to come from these stores ARE disguised as discounts and coupons. Like these targeting Walgreens this past week…

As if the sender’s address in the gift notification above isn’t suspicious enough, check out the random string of text at the bottom of the email. This text is meant to try to influence the spam score given to email by spam filters and it is an absolute 100% measure that this is BS. The scammers that created this were busy…

2-Walgreens - your order was received

We should add that it is NEVER a good idea to click the links to remove yourself from an email list such as the two links in the next email.

3-Walgreens order ready for pickup

This last one is probably the most successful of the four of them because many people would click to see what Walgreens thinks is ready for pickup.

4-Walgreens order ready for pickup 2

Just delete.

$1000 Kohl’s Shopping spree!

Look carefully at the ad below supposedly sent on behalf of Kohl’s and you’ll see text saying that is was sent from an advertiser named That’s just one of many lies in this scam. The email was sent from an address in the European Union (see .eu in the sender’s email address). In addition, a Google look-up of should make everyone suspicious because it shows no information whatsoever about this company.


And the very next link in Google is to the website that identifies this website as 90% malicious.

And if that weren’t enough, has listed multiple times when they have found malicious files hosted by this domain.

Remember what we’ve said about random text meant to fool spam filters? We noticed about 4 inches of blank white space underneath the Kohl’s gift card ad. When we dragged our cursor through it, look what showed up… Random white text meant to fool spam filters.

6-$1000 Kohls shopping spree 2

Just delete.

Awesome News and Your FedEx Parcel has Arrived!

These types of scams continue to be some of the most successful at tricking recipients into clicking a link.

A mouse-over of the link “Get Shipment Label” clearly shows that it leads to a compressed (zip) file on some strange hacked web server. Also, the “from” email address is not FedEx, but people often overlook these things, especially during the holidays, the busiest time of the year for package shipping.

This last scam is especially dangerous because the “hello pam” correctly identified the recipient by first name. That fact alone is often enough to get people to click a link out of curiosity. Don’t fall for this trick! If you don’t recognize the sender, just delete! Keep a healthy dose of skepticism when using the Internet and email in particular.


Finally, one of our readers has informed us about suddenly getting a lot of spam about the Touchfire keyboard for iPads.  Each email seems to come from a different address which makes this spam sound like it could be malicious.  It’s never a good idea to click links in these emails, even unsubscribe links because you are simply informing the sender that you open and read them making your email address all the more valuable. If any of our other readers are receiving this Touchfire email scam, please forward it to  Thanks!




Surf safely!