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July 17, 2019

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

During the past week one of our website pages has been exploding with activity, which is usually a bad sign that lots of people are being targeted by this scam.  It is the “Apple Tech Support” scam call.  Also very active and tied for second place is the fake Amazon Customer Support scam call and 2019 Cash Flow scam.  However, the scam targeting people the most that causes them to reach out to us for help, or to report the details to us has been about bogus Job openings and fake job interviews.  These scams generally fall under the category of an “advance check” scam or re-shipping stolen merchandise.

Here are two brief email examples of job scams sent to us by a TDS reader, received just two days apart.  They are identical emails, both sent with the same pdf job description. One came from “Dale Nelson” and the other from “Freeman Hayes” through two different email addresses in Germany (“.de” = 2 letter country code for Germany).   Each brief email used the recipients name four times, as if repeating her name would make her feel like this crap might be legitimate! No such luck.

 

 


Phish NETS: Yahoo and AT&T Email

“Your At&t/Yahoo mail version is outdated and has expired” says this lame email from a private account at swbell.net.  To their credit, swbell.net is related to AT&T but that doesn’t mean that this email came from att.net or yahoo.com. Also, the links in this carp point to “1drv.ms.”.  And be sure to notice that the “Reply-To” email address is an anonymous Gmail account called “replymeyahoo667” (as in Reply Me Yahoo 667).

Fortunately, the link to “one drive” has been identified as a malicious phishing link by PhishTank.com, as displayed by Sucuri.net.

Big Fat Deeeeleeeeeete!

YOUR MONEY:  Survival Tool and Car Accident Law Help

This first email is clearly meant to appeal to survivalists, those who prepare for Armageddon, and the end of civil society or the world as we know it.  Or perhaps those folks who just like to hang out in the woods and not deal with the rest of us. In either case, this email claims to have the most amazing fire-making tool you’ve ever seen.  Except that it is just another malicious clickbait. The links point back to the domain it was sent from… plsma[.]pro.  That domain was registered anonymously the day before we received this email.

              

Fortunately, both McAfee and Spamhaus have identified this bad boy.  It’s also important to note that the plsma[.]pro domain contains a redirect that will send you to a website we have identified in the past as malicious, NextCoolDeal[.]com.  (Check out our June 26, 2019 newsletter’s Your Money column.)

As for this junk, we choose life!

Do you ever need legal help after a car accident?  Some people do but this is not the way to find it! This email wants you to believe it is connected to the service at InjuryPartner[.]com, a lawyer referral service that we cannot recommend because we know nothing about it.  However, this email points to the domain manners[.]review.  Notice the random white text at the bottom of the email that was placed against a white background.  Our experienced readers know that this text is an effort to try to make the email appear legitimate to the anti-spam servers that evaluate it.

Unless you WANT an accident that will leave you injured, lunge for the delete key!

TOP STORY: Nigerian 419 Scammers Will Brighten Our Day

The 1929 book “All Quiet on the Western Front,” by German Novelist Erich Maria Remarque, describes the extreme mental and physical stress on German soldiers during World War I, according to Wikipedia.  Forgive us as we usurp this title to say that it is still “all quiet on the western front” of online scams… until all hell breaks loose.  The big Eastern European cybercriminal gangs must still be enjoying a two week break in the Balkans, along with the cybercriminals in Iran, North Korean and China. (Where do these criminals go on vacation?)  They must all still be vacationing, except for the Nigerian 419 scammers. The Nigerians are back to business as usual and we wish to honor these hard-working criminal folk who continue to put a smile on our collective faces with their wonderful heartfelt pitches to give us money.  We hope you enjoy these samples as much as we have! 

Let’s start with “if you are not dead!”  It was sent from the Gmail account “HeadForeignOperation5.”  And for the record… No, we are not dead!

In second place for “make us smile” is this mysterious “Call to the Worthy” to reach out to the Brotherhood Of The Illuminati!  Now that’s a request you don’t commonly see! At least not since the 2009 movie Angels & Demons.  Personally, we would love to join and receive an official Illuminati patch to sew on our survival backpack but we don’t think we can afford the fees they are likely to charge us.  Oh, by the way, it is worth noting that like 99.9% of all Nigerian 419 scams, this email came from one email address but (as you can see below) your reply will be sent to a different email address.

Next on our list of Nigerian 419 scams this week is this deeply sincere and heart-felt plea from Matilda (which we’ve seen before, nearly word-for-word, over many years).  We are especially pleased that “Matilda the Swede” seeks our friendship and it “seats us well.” 

Finally, we close with this very typical tried and true pitch from “my Good friend” what’s-his-name in Russia. (The email came from a Russian email server. “.ru”)  By the way, and for the record, anyone can obtain a “diplomat[.]com” or “consultant[.]com” email address through the service at GetMailSpring[.]com! They might just as well have grabbed “bullshitter[.]com.”

FOR YOUR SAFETY: 5 Biggest Threats to Online Privacy in 2019

Finally, we leave you with this worthwhile article from Pocket-Lint.com titled “The 5 Biggest Threats to Online Privacy in 2019.”  Though short, it is on the mark!


Until next week, surf safely!