An old scam, resurrected

I previously posted about the most deceptive ad I had ever encountered in an article entitled “Selling It.”

Hall of Shame Advertisement

Take away all the mummery, and the thrust of the ad was, “throw away your old rabbit ears and buy our pretty rabbit ears.”

When it comes to separating suckers from their money, old ideas die hard. I mean, why throw away such a good concept if it works, right?

Saw this in WalMart just the other day:

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Other than the fact that the old one was analog and this one is digital, it’s the same marketing pitch, with the same marketing weasel words. But the summum bonum of the product? “Works just like your old antenna, ONLY NOW with a sleek design.”

Well, that’s certainly sufficient incentive to throw away my old digital antenna and buy this one. Except for the fact that I haven’t watched broadcast TV for over 20 years, but that’s another story.

Save your money and don’t buy camel ejecta like this.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Stop what you’re doing!

“Please stop what you’re doing and listen to this very important message. I’m going to give you access to a pre-recorded message that’s going to show you exactly how to start putting $10,000 or more in your pocket in the next 10 to 14 days and $10,000 or more every 10 to 14 days after that. This message will absolutely blow your mind! So press 1 right now if you want to find out exactly how to put $10,000 or more in your pocket every 10 to 14 days. I guarantee you have never seen anything like this up until now. So press 1 right now to get all the details, or press 9 to guarantee that you’ll never hear from us again.”

robocall1

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had this robocall, along with “Hi! I’m Kelly from Credit Card Services!” and a handful of others. But this one is especially obnoxious.

First of all, these calls blatantly ignore the National Do Not Call Registry. Second, pressing “9” only serves to guarantee that your number is registered as a “live” number, and will then be sold to other telemarketers. Lastly, they’re selling a weak-sauce multi-level marketing package of informational and motivational material for $1,000, plus a $299.00 annual membership fee, with a no-refund rider attached. You shell out, you’re sunk. This particular dodge is being run by Exitus, but I suspect the same come-on is being used by a number of shady operators.

They claim you don’t have to do any calling. But you will need to send referrals to your own marketing page, for the automated system to work for you.

How are you going to get referrals? Clearly, by using one of those never-suffiently-to-be-damned robocalling systems that will bother millions of people in clear violation of the law.

If you are looking for a business model that depends on a foundation of not caring how many people you piss off, or leaving countless broken bodies in your wake to get one customer, then this opportunity is for you.

If you have ethics and morals, compassion and concern for the well-being of your neighbor, better look elsewhere.

Every time I get one of these calls, I have visions of lowering the person behind it into a wood chipper, slowly – despite working hard on being charitable to all. That tells you how annoying I find these seedy scams.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Hello Lucky Winner (Never answer emails like this)

Bullshit

Hello Lucky Winner,

This might come as a surprise but 100% legitimate, as David and Carol Martin has approved a donation sum of $900,000.00 USD from part of their National Lottery Win of £33,000,000.00 Pound Sterlings. I believe this will come in handy and with it you can also be of assistance to the under privileged within your own community.

To verify the genuineness of this email and our winnings, please see our interview by visiting the web page below;

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-35297396 

Your email address was submitted to my wife and I by the Google Management Team and you received this email because we have listed you as one of the lucky beneficiary and all you have to do is get back to us with the below details so that we can direct our Bank to effect valid Bank Draft in your name to your operational bank account in your country.

============

  • Full Name:
  • State:
  • Country:
  • Occupation:
  • Age:
  • Sex:
  • Mobile/Tel:

============

SEND ABOVE INFORMATION ONLY TRHOUGH OUR CONTACT E-MAIL: madvcl@foxmail.com

Congratulations & Happy Celebrations in Advance


 

liar2

In case you were wondering, letters or emails or faxes like this are pure BS. Never respond, never send the money the scammers will invariably ask for (taxes, fees, bribes, you name it.)

Grandmarina

Be good then, and don’t!

The Old Wolf has spoken.

419 is just a game

I just received an interesting comment over at my post on trolling a Craigslist scammer. Here it is, in full, thanks to commenter “James Dawson”:

You people got the gut to complain when your devilish forefathers stole Africans from their lands brought them over to your country and used them to develop your nation leaving their fatherland underdeveloped with abject poverty,sufferings and confusion. This is Karma and it’s will keep catching up with you guys

This is a common attitude expressed by the 419 scammers – to them, it’s just a game, as expressed in this video, a shorter version of which I had referenced in a previous post:

In a delicious bit of irony, Nkem Owoh, the actor who starred in the above music video, was arrested in 2007 as part of an international takedown of scammers who were running the 419 fraud. Full details at The Register.

Somehow these drones feel that two wrongs make a right, and that they are somehow entitled to the money of any rich white man stupid enough to “fall mugu.” They don’t understand the concept of personal responsibility, that no one owes their sorry asses anything, and that they should stop blaming people who have been dead for 200 years for their troubles.

U no chop my dollar, onioburu. U no fit comot face, just skip along.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

 

The Android Phone Virus Scam

I’ve written about this gambit before, but today I encountered an especially egregious example of one.

While perusing an article found at reddit, one of the pages I visited popped up with this:

Screenshot_2016-07-30-22-11-52

My phone started buzzing like crazy, the progress bar went all the way to the right, and i was told that I had a myriad of viruses. All I had to do was download “Psafe” to get my phone clean again.

As I tried to back out of this steaming pile of moose droppings, I was presented with the following sequence of screens, with concomitant “Urgent!” vibrations – in other words, there was no way out:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If these popups are to be believed, my poor Android had become virus central, and I might as well just throw it away and buy a new one.

But by now you should know that this is all nonsense, designed to trick the unwary and the gullible into downloading Psafe, a supposed protection application from the Play Store. How a legitimate application, if that’s what it is, can resort to such scummy promotion techniques is beyond me – unless it’s the typical drivel put out by affiliate marketers. Be that as it may, tactics like this are enough to sour me on a piece of software forever – and tell others to stay away from it as well.

Another example.

Screenshot_2016-07-30-07-42-10

I really work hard to keep the content of this blog family-friendly. This kind of stuff makes me want to send vulgar open letters to the people who do this, but I’ll have to content myself with putting it out there so other people might also be warned.

If you get junk like this on your Android, it’s not infected. Restart your phone you can’t get out of the loop, and if it’s really bad, reinstall your browser.

And never, ever, use Psafe for anything – a company that stoops to these methods of despicably dishonest advertising does not deserve your business.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

 

Loan Sharking: Alive and Well

loanshark

I recently had brought to my attention the existence of a company called “LoanMe,” which pre-qualified a redditor for a $10,600 loan at an APR of 99.75% with a $70,000 payback.

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I knew credit cards had outrageous interest rates of 18% and above, but I had no idea they were being outdone by orders of magnitude in the world of high finance.

Have a look at rates available in Utah from this company:

loan

This is from LoanMe’s own website – with the next column in red calculated out  by me and showing the total payoff.

For a $5,000 loan you’d be paying $36476.04 in interest over 7 years. For an even smaller loan of $2600, you would pay $15729.80 in interest over just shy of 4 years.

Predatory practices of this nature are incomprehensible; I thought we had laws against usury in this country, but I guess we don’t.

Be careful out there, and avoid those who would rob you in broad daylight under the loving protection of the law.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

 

A dozen Crypto attempts today

crypto

All of these arrived in my inbox today; many are duplicated versions of the same message with minor changes.

Dear info,
Cathleen Holcomb asked me to send you the attached Word document, which contains the final version of the report.
Please let me know if you have any trouble with the file, and please let Cathleen know if you have any questions about the contents of the report.
Kind regards
Alisa Harper
Managing Director
Notice that all of these emails begin with “Dear Info,” since the relevant address is “info@devnull.com.” This in itself should be a red flag.
Dear info:
Thank you for your email regarding your order of 21 June, and sorry for the delay in replying. I am writing to confirm receipt of your order, and to inform you that the item you requested will be delivered by 25 June at the latest. If you require more information regarding this order, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Also, our records show that we have not yet received payment for the previous order of 11 June, so I would be grateful if you could send payment as soon as possible. Please find attached the corresponding invoice.
If there is anything else you require, our company would be pleased to help. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Yours sincerely
Benjamin Martin
Chief Executive Officer
Information. A report. An invoice with request for payment. A spreadsheet. All looking innocuous and legitimate.
Dear info,
The reference you requested is attached.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Best regards
Erma Frederick
CEO
No matter how official emails like this look, you should verify every detail before proceeding.
Dear info,
Our records show that we have not yet received payment for the previous order #A-393685
Could you please send payment as soon as possible?
Please find attached file for details.
Yours sincerely
Jami Garrett
Mexico Key Account Director
Don’t open those attachments! They are almost certainly javascript files which will download an encryption virus or something equally vicious.
Be careful out there.
The Old Wolf has spoken.