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November 9, 2014

So many good scams to choose from including several sent to us by our members! Where to begin… Lots of Medicare open enrollment notices, updates to credit scores, special invitation to apply for a Mastercard credit card, become superrich, speak any language in just ten days, get help with your tax problems, check out the new Applebee’s winter menu, drop 60 lbs. by eating cactus (YUCK!), receive $100 Walgreens points, see how diabetes has been cured by an amino acid found in turkeys (This one made us smile!), Massachusetts electric rates, and much, much more!

We also saw fake notices for problems with your FedEx delivery, notices of voice messages left for you, and fake private LinkedIn messages like this one:

1-LinkedIn private message

And then there were the bogus phone calls to people’s homes from “Steve Martin” claiming to be from the U.S. Treasury. He was calling about taxes and threatening legal action if you didn’t pay your taxes and fees immediately over the phone. We even got that call….twice!

We're certain the caller is not this Steve Martin.

We’re certain the caller is not this Steve Martin.


Medicare Open Enrollment

We believe that most scams we see are being perpetrated by criminal gangs outside the United States. But these criminals have a keen eye for the timing of their scams and understand U.S. culture well. For example, it is open enrollment time for medicare and medical insurance options. So these emails are timed perfectly to arrive with other legitimate notices and at a time when businesses may be informing their employees about their options for enrollment. To steal a phrase from the world of biology… this trickery is akin to a form of mimicry called Aggressive Mimicry. Below are two examples. Each email contains malicious links and point to websites that have nothing to do with Medicare. In fact, a WHOIS lookup of each shows that the domains ( and were registered on the day the scam emails were sent. Big surprise.

2-Medicare Open Enrollment

2-Medicare open enrollment 2


Your Tickets Have Been Booked

Fake airline notifications are excellent methods to socially engineer human behavior. We’re not sure why. Perhaps it is because flying is still an “event” for many people; something special. Do you have any theories about this? Let us know! The past week the scammers targeted Southwest Air:

3-Emails to confirm your flights

Clearly, the domain name in the link and sender’s address have nothing to do with Southwest Air or any airline! Nor do they even suggest that they relate to a travel agency. Yet people will click these links. A WHOIS lookup shows that this strange domain,, is being hosted in France. Just delete!

3-Your tickets have been booked


Thanksgiving Day Devestation

File this under sensationalist junk that engineers human behavior by fear. Phrases like “prepare for this horrific event” and “presidential scandal” are simply designed to maximize people’s curiosity and concern. Does ANYONE else notice the bizarre text seen at the bottom of many of these bogus emails? Scammers/Spammers include it as a means to try to trick anti-spam software into scoring the email as legitimate.

The links in this rediculous email point to the domain “” As is common in the world of scam domains, a WHOIS lookup shows it was registered on the day the scam email was sent. Just delete!

4-Thanksgiving Day Devestation

Finally, we leave you with this…. A second chance! Isn’t it nice to know that people are given a second chance? Don’t we all deserve a second chance? Well, maybe not this one from “”

5-2nd chance checking account

Surf safely!