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February 25, 2015

The Daily Scam has made a few design changes to our newsletter as we try to improve the information we bring to you. The TDS newsletter will now come out on Wednesday of each week. As always, we invite your feedback! Send us an email how we’re doing and what you like or would like improved to


Wow what a week! We don’t mean scams, we mean snow! Your TDS team lives in the Boston area and we’re looking at four feet of snow, not counting the drifts. Thank goodness the scammers have kept us distracted from shoveling. Here are just some of the subject lines we saw during the past week…

  • Alaska cruise deals
  • Are you about to date a felon?
  • Auto policy alerts
  • Blood pressure fix
  • Bloomberg promotions
  • Burn fat in just 6 minutes
  • Businessweek News
  • Can you believe what I found on her record?
  • Communicate at no cost, this weekend on eHarmony
  • Eat this for breakfast to flatten your belly
  • Find affordable dental coverage
  • Funeral/Burial Insurance Rates
  • Get certified in Medical Billing
  • Healthy living
  • Improve your vision (Restore your vision)
  • Ink/Toner Sale
  • Is your neighbor a criminal?
  • Jeopardy host Alex Tribec beats Alzheimiers
  • Jordan war on ISIS to affect American communities
  • Katie Couric lets you know how to raise your IQ number
  • Lasik Surgery

  • Lobster kills women
  • Lotto Winner held at gunpoint
  • Make your smile sparkle
  • Medical device recalls
  • New sleep aid hits CVS shelves
  • Norton Internet Security
  • Norton Update
  • O’Reilly Factor has details on imminent ISIS attack
  • Omega K Heart Attack Fighter
  • Pope Francis using formula banned by Vatican
  • Razor blades are overpriced
  • Security camera deals
  • The secret celebrities use for vibrant skin
  • This video makes women want you
  • Tinnitus
  • Top Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers
  • Valentine’s flowers
  • Walgreens $100 eBalance reward points
  • Window replacement deals
  • Wireless safety cameras
  • Xarelto causes serious injuries, compensation available

The scammers turned up the heat last week and TDS had to rate the week as five thumbs down, meaning the highest volume of spam and scams evah! A common trick they use to pretend legitimacy for their scams is to create email usernames that sound legitimate such as these recent samples.  But don’t be fooled. Any text in front of the “@” symbol in an email address is just a username. Anyone can create any username they want. “Amazon_Coupons@…” doesn’t mean the email is from Amazon and contains coupons.

1-Scam email list 1









Before we focus on this week’s news we wanted to show you something new from the scammers and something old. We’ve all heard about charity campaigns asking donors to donate their old cars to charity but we’ve never seen the scammers use this ploy to trick people into clicking malicious links…. Until now. We also want to remind our readers about the vanity scams disguised as invitations to join Who’s Who groups or directories. At best they are worthless and at worse they are malicious. To read more about these vanity scams, visit us at

2-Donate your old car to charity












3-Global Whos Who 2015 - Your invitation












Phish Nets: Bank and Credit Card Phishing is on the Rise.

We saw a sharp rise in the number of bank and credit card phishing emails meant to trick you into revealing your log-in credentials. To see a complete explanation of phishing scams disguised as Apple emails, check out our video How to Tell Good Apples from Bad.

Fortunately, a simple mouse-over of the links reveal that they don’t take you back to the company they claim to represent.

4a-American Express -account verification needed


4b-American Express software update


4c-Barclays account restricted for security


4d-Wells Fargo suspicious activity on account







Your Money: Scam? Maybe. But Questionable, Worthless Spam? Yes.

Sometimes there is a fine line between a scam and spam using scammy tactics to push questionable services or products. We don’t typically “call out” possible legitimate businesses but this one is exceptional. A few weeks ago one of our members began to receive emails from a service called

CTR Training ( They tend to be very long emails. Here is a sample of just the top few paragraphs of a recent one. One of the offensive spam tactics used is that these emails were targeting lots of people at the organization, from the janitorial staff to others who have no connection whatsoever to the content being pushed.

5a-CTRTraining email

And they kept coming…

5b-CTRTraining emails








When we investigate a domain, one of the first things we do is ask Google about the domain to see what it reports and what others might be saying about it. This technique is very instructive! In this case we asked Google about the domain and the word spam, because that was clearly what was being delivered.

5c-CTRTraining spam google listing


 Google showed us that others were talking about the spam tactics from If you look closely at the results in Google’s first few links you’ll notice something else interesting. The website “” (My Web of Trust) rated ctrtraining only one out of five stars. Also, Google shows no information whatsoever at the web site itself. This is also very unusual for a company that wants to build a client base and attract business. The Zulu URL risk analyzer found absolutely no content on the web site.  Does this inspire you to want to do business with these folks?

Our conclusion? This may be a legitimate business but they sure seem to go about it the wrong way. Don’t waste your money on these people. Just delete.





Top Story: Text Scams are on the Rise. Some Silly, Some Serious.

If you own a smartphone (who doesn’t?) then this may come as no surprise. Text scams are way up. Here’s a recent typical example.

6a-Taken 1st in weekly contest text







We aren’t 100% certain what is the exact nature of this scam until we dissect it. It could be a form of Advance-fee scam where the winner is told that they have to pay a minor fee to release the contest winnings. It could be a trick to gather personal information. Or it could be a trick that causes charges against the callers phone if they dial the number.

You’ve taken 1st in our weekly contest! First of all, the 404 area code is for Atlanta, Georgia. We looked up the phone number in Google.

and discovered that this number, along with many others including some in close numerical sequence, have been associated with a vacation giveaway scam. Other similar numbers included:




Check out what others are saying about this marketing scam for a free vacation trip.


Obviously the sender’s email address is completely bogus:

No such domain exists for “” and a search for turns up similar scams related to the domain (rather than .mobi)

such as the one identified here:


A WHOIS shows that both domains ( and were registered recently in Canada and the identity of the registrant is being protected behind the service


Doesn’t this inspire confidence to respond and hope for that contest prize? How about this next one… A lame attempt at a text phishing scam. We laughed when a reader sent us this one.   To be serious though, while this one is rediculous, others are not and they will only become more sophisticated as the scammer sharpen their skills with texts that target everyone. Keep a healthy dose of skepticism with telecommunications. It is so easy to deceive others.

6b-iPhone unusual text scam










FOR YOUR SAFETY: When the Protecting Tool is Actually the Wolf

We leave you with a final reminder… We often see scammers push fake software and tools that are meant to keep us safe at home and online but are actually the scams trying to harm us. Here’s an example about the Home Security system from ADT. But notice that the email comes from, and the links lead to, “”


Google can’t find any such website by that name and a WHOIS lookup shows that the domain was registered to a Georgia Thompson from Kent, Washington. However, the domain was registered, and supposedly hosted, in the town of Alcantarilla, in the region of Murcia, Spain. Sound like ADT to you?

7-ADT Home security







Surf safely!