Phishing: Watch those URLs

Today in my Yahoo! mail account:

Yahoo

If you click that “Sign In” link, you get taken to

http://www.oficinadentalpr.com/includes/drpbx/db/obfuscated.php

which is apparently a dental office in Brazil. (I tried contacting them to let them know that their website had been compromised, but their contact page seems to be malfunctioning.)

Edit: As of today, the entire “Oficina Dental” account has been suspended. Either they got infected and their ISP suspended them on general principles, or the whole page was a sleazy front for this scam operation. We’ll never know.

At any rate, this is what you get:

Yahoo2

Which leads you to the regular “Enter your critical personal information and credit card and bank data” page.

The ongoing lesson: Don’t click embedded links in emails. Just don’t.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Malware download from “eBay GMBH” (German Ebay)

Clearly not from the German version of eBay, but posting this here just in case anyone gets the same email and Googles for it.

Rechnung für [redacted] noch offen: Nummer 19879661
Sent By: Inkasso Ebay GmbH   On:Apr 04/22/15 12:59 AM
Forderung an [redacted].22 04.2015-Inkasso Ebay GmbH.zip (130 KB) | Download

Sehr geehrter Kunde [Redacted], Ihr Kreditinstitut hat die Kontoabbuchung zurück buchen lassen. Sie haben eine ungedeckte Forderung bei der Firma Ebay GmbH.

Aufgrund des bestehenden Zahlungsrückstands sind Sie verpflichtet außerdem, die durch unsere Beauftragung entstandenen Kosten von 43,90 Euro zu tragen. Wir erwarten die vollständige Zahlung bis zum 24.04.2015 auf unser Bankkonto. Namens unseren Mandanten fordern wir Sie auf, die offene Forderung sofort zu begleichen. Bei Fragen oder Unklarheiten erwarten wir eine Kontaktaufnahme innerhalb des gleichen Zeitraums.

Bitte beachten Sie, dass keine weitere Mahnung erfolgt. Nach Ablauf der Frist wird die Akte dem Gericht und der Schufa übergeben. Eine vollständige Kostenaufstellung, der Sie alle Buchungen entnehmen können, ist beigefügt.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Inkasso Voigt Marlon

Achtung: Dies ist ein Betrug. Keine angehängten Dateien öffnen!

Summary: I have an open invoice because of a declined charge with Ebay Germany. If I don’t pay immediately, a collection company will come after me and I’ll be reported to the General Credit Protection Agency. Notice that ZIP file up there in red, supposedly an invoice. Unzip it, and there’s another zip file. Unzip that, and there’s a file called

[redacted] Forderung 22.04.2015 – Inkasso Ebay GmbH.com (meaning, supposedly, a demand for collection.)

That’s a .COM file, or rather a simple executable file… in other words, a program. These are BAD NEWS for anyone who is foolish enough to open them. They’re just as bad as .EXE files. NEVER OPEN AN EXE OR COM FILE UNLESS YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IT IS AND WHOM IT’S FROM.

Interestingly enough, I ran a virus check on this file and it came up with nothing. However, submitting it to VirusTotal.com came up with this:

viruses

In other words, it’s a nasty. The anti-virus programs indicated came up with multiple offenders for this file – one example that I followed for illustrative purposes was Packed.Win32.Katusha.o, which is a Trojan that can connect to a remote IRC server once it has infiltrated a PC. Packed.Win32.Katusha.o will download harmful files from the server that will damage the infected machine even further.

If you run this insidious program, you have just opened wide a door to the criminal element, and your computer will be infected with keyloggers, other trojans, made part of a botnet of spamming computers, infected with the dreaded CryptoLocker, or who knows what else. It will, at the very least, cause you inconvenience, and at the very worst destroy all your files, give criminals access to your personal data and/or your email accounts, and cost you lots of money. These people are horrible individuals. They want only one thing – to make money at your expense, and they don’t care how they do it.

Don’t ever fall victim to them.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Please do not share from these 10 Websites or Facebook Pages

This is a condensation of an excellent article from DawnsBrain. I’ve summarized the ten here for easy consumption, but her complete article is worth a read.

DBRielly_LovePotionsAndSnakeOil

☛ TL;DR – these websites promote pseudoscientific woo¹, and are dangerous in that they lead people to shun and be afraid of science-based health and medicine. ☚

10) Alex Jones

Mr. Jones uses a ton of hyperbole, conspiracy theories, and a loose connection to reality, to whip up fear and loathing in his audience.

9) The Food Babe

Ms. Hari, the “Food Babe”, parrots Dr. Mercola and cobbles together cherry-picked blurbs from questionable studies and Wikipedia. She uses the term “investigation” to excuse the fact that she often gives medical advice without having any education in the life sciences. She picks the weirdest ingredients to go after.

#8 Eat Clean. Train Mean. Live Green.

Ms. McDonald mixes some common-sense dietary advice with a shot of “detox” and disordered eating, GMO and fluoride fearmongering, and pondering about chemtrails. She even claims that honey is medicine. Proof that even registered dietitians can be wacko.

#7 Dr. Joseph Mercola

Dr. Mercola, by virtue of his credentials and large fanbase, is possibly one of the most dangerous people on Facebook. Because he generates fear around science-based medicine, he discourages people from seeking real help for illness. He also scares people away from vaccinations, fluoride, GMO food, pasteurized dairy, and dental fillings. But you know, buy his line of supplements and all will be well.

#6 Prevention Magazine

Everyone that promotes “natural cures” above all else seems to jump from one cure-all to another. WebMD specifically states that there is insufficient evidence for at least three items on their list.

#5 NaturalNews.com

NaturalNews.com is arguably the most balls-to-the-wall looniest page on Facebook. They have never met a conspiracy theory they don’t love.

#4 Collective Evolution

All the misinformation, all the time.

#3 MindBodyGreen

The “conversations about health” are decidedly in favor of “natural remedies” that are not supported by scientific research. People who waste their time mucking about with ineffective alternative treatments often die much sooner.

#2 Spirit Science

Most of their posts are harmless new-agey spiritual stuff and kookiness. But sometimes they veer into unsupportable natural remedies and outright pseudoscience.

#1 The Mind Unleashed

They’re a good example of slipping in a bit of bullshit here and there amongst the standard viral Facebook stuff. There’s a theme of immature hippy-style mistrust of any and every authority. What are you rebelling against? What have you got?

Bonus Post

Ernest Hemingway coined the term Crap Detector to refer to the little mechanism that ought to be working inside each person’s brain.

The most certain way to develop this ability to discern truth from baloney is education. In particular, an education in science will help protect you from the charlatans and cranks of the world.

I highly recommend starting with one of the many free online resources, such as Crash Course: Biology, Crash Course: Chemistry, and Crash Course: Anatomy and Physiology.

Bonus 2:

Dawn did not mention him, but I personally would add Mehmet Oz to the list. A sad case of a classically-trained physician who has sold his reputation for a mess of pottage, and in his quest to find natural remedies has devolved into a pitchman for the most ridiculous and worthless products known to man.

Disclaimer: Even with education in the hard sciences, it’s wise to remember that not everything is known that can be known. Aspirin is a direct outgrowth of historical use of willow bark to treat fevers. I have a strong conviction that there are literally countless chemical compounds out in nature that remain to be discovered that can have beneficial effects on human health and disease… but most of them have not been discovered yet.

Heath and wellness is soon to be, if it’s not already, a trillion-dollar industry – and everyone and their dog wants a slice of that pie. Trouble is, most of those dollars will be made selling bullcrap to the ignorant. There are very few exceptions.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


¹ Woo is a term used among skeptical writers to describe pseudoscientific explanations that have certain common characteristics.

Another INTERPOL Threat

Another scam from Benin.

NEVER RESPOND TO SILLY EMAILS LIKE THIS. If you are contacted out of the blue by someone who wants you to wire money by Western Union to anywhere in the world, it’s a SCAM. Delete such messages. NEVER SEND MONEY BY WESTERN UNION TO ANYONE UNKNOWN TO YOU.

No, Interpol is not after me. No, I won’t send them any money.

Subject: Urgent Attention,
From: INTERPOL POLICE <interpolgeneralofpoliceforce@gmail.com>
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
FBI OFFICE Washington, DC

INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 ? member countries. Our role is to enable police around the world to work together to make the world a safer place. Our high-tech infrastructure of technical and operational support helps meet the growing challenges of fighting crime in the 21st century.

Urgent Attention,

We have this morning discovered that you have been making foreign legal transactions with Western Unions, Money Grams, Diplomatic Agents and Banks with West African Countries (Benin, Nigeria, Ghana etc.). We went further with the investigations we found out that you don’t have Money Laundering Clearance Certificate, which is a major Federal Offence. You have violated the World Federal Law, which constituted against smuggling of large amount of money and trafficking of drug e.t.c., without having Money Laundering Clearance Certificate before you commenced the transaction. You want to receive such huge amount of money from UPS DHL FEDEX WESTERN UNION AND MONEY GRAM HEAD Quater Benin Republic which is a foreign Delivery. Meanwhile we have stopped the Delivery, not only the ATM CARD was stopped but the total Transaction of the sum of ($10.2million dollars )

Furthermore, be advised that according to the World Wide Law Enforcement Agency together with the FBI rules and regulations, you are to obtain the document from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Benin Republic which is the origin of the fund in question. Also Note that you are to take care of the documentation to be issued to you right away, because due to the content of the document and how importance and secured the document is, you are to take care of the document by sending them the sum of $90.00 US Dollars only to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Benin Republic for issuing of the document right away and your payment will be release to you. That is the only way the Economic and Financial Crime Commission Benin Republic will issue you the document, because they are going to issue you the Authentic and Original copy of the documents.

Note that your rights are limited; anything you SAY or DO will be used as evidence against you in the court of Law. You have the full rights to remain silent and obey the Law. Don’t think we don’t know you or your address. We will get you arrested if you fail to provide the document or pay for it to be obtained from Benin Republic. The Arrest Warrant can only be withdrawn once the document is obtained. There are three charges against you, which are:

1. Smuggling of a huge amount of money into your country without Money Laundering Clearance Certificate is a violation to Federal Law. 2. Smuggling of a huge amount of money into your country without a proper documentation is a violation 2003 Federal Constitution, otherwise, called illegal transaction. 3. it’s a Conspiracy, a Criminal Attempt and Disobedience to the Federal Law, which will eventually lead you to 5-year imprisonment.

You Should Send The Money Direct To The Country Of Origin Of The Fund In Question:

Country: Benin Republic
State/City: Cotonou
Text Q.: info
Answer: Yes
Amount;;;;;;$90
Receiver Name: FELIS IKE
Sender name: and MTCN is needed;

Once, you make the payment, attach and send to us the copy of the payment slip for verification before sending it to the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) Benin Republic.

WARNING: Failure to pay for this documentation is a confirmation that you wanted to smuggle the funds into the country which is a federal offense and a gross violation of the Patriot Act and legal action will be taken immediately by arresting and detaining you and if found guilty, you will be jailed As terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering is a serious problem in our community today. The UNITED STATE INTERPOL world’s largest international police organization will not stop at any length in tracing you down and prosecuting any criminal who indulge in this criminal act.

Sign:General Shawn A. Bray, head of the Central Investigation Bureau UNITED STATE INTERPOL world’s largest international police organization

FBI WEB SITE http://www.fbi.gov/
interpol site http://www.justice.gov/
Supreme Court of United State

Still haven’t figured out what’s up over in Africa; I haven’t gotten a single scam letter from Nigeria in a dog’s age – all of these drones claim to be operating out of Benin, just next door. Whatever the case, it’s still the same scammers running the same tired old scam.

Be careful out there, and protect your loved ones.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

An especially convincing Phishing scam

Here’s the email that came to me yesterday:

Image1

  1. Notice that it appears to come from “Paypal.com,”  However, the original sender was 23.249.163.109 (if even that’s not spoofed) which is in Buffalo, NY rather than PayPal’s headquarters which is in California.
  2. Second, the message is an image rather than text. That’s a red flag right there. The images link back to:

These are definitely nothing linked to PayPal. So we know even without any further examination that we are dealing with a phishing scam.

The image itself, if you click on it, will lead you to a long URL which actually contains the email address that their phishing email was sent to. If you click on these links, they know who you are.

http://redirect.paypal.com.0.session&#8230;..=MyEmailAddress@comcast.net

Image2

So notice that when you get to the phishing website, they already have your email address. This is what makes the scam more credible – they’re not asking for your PayPal ID, because they are counting on the fact that you use your same email address as your PayPal address, and they already have that.

If you foolishly enter your password, the first thing you’ll see is this bit of misdirection:

Image3

But that’s just a clever bit of misdirection. So you try again, and this is what you get next:

Image4

Which soon passes to:

Image5

And off to the races we go.

REMEMBER: Banks or PayPal or other financial institutions will NEVER ask you to verify information like this via email. All such requests are SCAMS.

When I check out websites like this (don’t try this at home – you could also be picking up a lot of malware if you’re not properly protected), I usually enter really insulting phrases for names, cities, and so forth. It’s a small thing, but it’s really the only way I can get under the skins of these criminals.

Image6

That billing address is nothing I would ever want to repeat in polite company – but notice that the scammers are trying to make their victim think they already have a credit card on file, and you’re just supposed to verify it.

Image7

So again I give them some bogus information that could never be used as a real card or be used to hurt anyone else.

Image8

The last screen will redirect the victim, once they have handed over their sensitive information to thieves, to the real PayPal website. Notice however – nothing else on the page works. All the other links are non-existent.

This scam is well-contrived enough that I fear any number of people will be taken in.

The most important thing to remember is that, as I said before, PayPal will NEVER ask you to give up sensitive financial information like this through an email message.

Be careful out there, and protect your loved ones.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

From INTERPOL? No, I don’t think so.

Another scam email from Benin. These boys are busy.

Subject: FROM THE DESK OF MR. MICHAEL DEEN International Police Interpol USA

From: INTERPOL POLICE <interpolgeneralofpoliceforce@gmail.com>

To: undisclosed-recipients:;

FROM THE DESK OF MR. MICHAEL DEEN

International Police Interpol USA

Urgent Attn:

OFFICIAL NOTICE: this is to notify you that Series of meetings have been held over the past (1) Week now with the Secretary General of the United Nations Organization United State of America, which ended 2 days ago. It is obvious that you have not received your fund which is now in the amount of $11,000,000.00 USD (Eleven Million United States Dollars) as a compensation award to you, due to past corrupt Governmental Officials who almost held your fund to themselves for their Selfish reasons and some individuals who have taken advantage of your fund all in an attempt to swindle your fund which has led to unnecessary delay in the receipt and so many losses from your end.

The National Central Bureau of Interpol enhanced by the United Nations and Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI USA/ IMF International Police Interpol USA, have successfully finalize to boost the exercise of clearing all foreign debts owed to you who have been found not to have received their Compensation Awards. Now, how would you like to receive your payment? Because we have two Method of payment which is by Check or by ATM card?

ATM Card: We will be issuing you a custom pin based ATM card which you will use to withdraw up to $5000.00 USD (Five Thousand Dollars) Per day from any ATM Machine that has the Master Card Logo on it and the card have to be renewed in 3 years time which is 2017. Also with the ATM card you will be able to transfer your funds to your Local Bank Account. Even if you do not have a Bank Account, the ATM card comes with a Handbook or Manual to Enlighten you about how to use it.

Check: A cashier check will be issued in your name and you will deposit it in your Bank for it to be Cleared within three Working Days. your payment would be sent to you via any of your Preferred Option above and would be Mailed to you Via UPS, because we have Signed a contract with UPS which Should expire (29TH) of March. 2015, You will only need to Pay $41.00 Honestly, I have confirmed that this is the Devil Work after all the Effort you made and thing are becoming so more Difficult well, I must confess that you have tried so much because it is not easy I know how much you have send in other to get this done please, do some thing over this to avoid Had I know because, the United State of America Government USA, will come into this Matter very soon and your Compensation Funds will be Transfer into the United State of America Government Account.

Take note that you will have to Stop Communication with every Other person if you have been in contact with any. Also remember that all you will ever have to spend is $41 Dollars nothing more! Nothing less! And we Guarantee the receipt of your fund to be successfully delivered to you within the next 48hrs after confirmation receipt of UPS fee of $41 Dollars). Note: Everything has been taken care of, including Taxes, Custom Paper and Clearance Duty. So, all you will ever need to pay is $41 Dollars.

secondly, you should know that Argument or delay can not do any thing or solve this problem if you can not find solution to solve this matter by trying your possible best for the final conclusion of this Transaction and send only $41.00 Right Away it means that i have no Other Option than to make down my Report. Note that you have been advice to urgently proceed to the Western Union or Money Gram and send the only required fee of $41 Dollars to our Branch payment Receiver Agent EMMA OBADI, COTONOU /BENIN, and get back to us with the MTCN.

RECEIVERS NAME: EMMA OBADI
COUNTRY/CITY: COTONOU / BENIN
AMOUNT TO SEND $41.00 DOLLARS ONLY.
TEXT QUESTION: IN GOD
ANSWER: WE ALWAYS TRUST
M.T.C#……..

Kindly get back to us as well with the MTCN and also be advice to reconfirm your full Delivery Address to avoid any Wrong Delivery of package. Apply Your Claims Promptly: For immediate release of your fund valued at $11,000,000.00 USD (Eleven Million United States Dollars) to you, you should contact our correspondent.

Your Full Name:________________________________
Your House Address:_________________________
Home/Cell/Phone Number:___________________
Choose ONE Preferable Payment Method (Visa ATM Card OR Cashier Check):_____________

Your package will be sent to you within 2 working Days upon confirmation receipt of UPS fee of $41.00 Dollars. We are so sure of everything and we are giving you a 100% Money back Guarantee if you do not Receive payment/package within the next 48hrs after you have made the payment for Shipping.

Thanks and God Bless You

Regards

MICHAEL DEEN
Chief Investigation Unit Department
International Police Interpol USA

  • You can safely ignore any email addressed to “undisclosed recipients.” It’s not to you. It’s a mass-mailing
  • INTERPOL will never contact you from Benin. There’s ample evidence that people from Nigeria and Benin have been collaborating with these scams for over a decade.
  • NEVER send money to strangers anywhere, in Africa or the US or anywhere else, via Western Union, MoneyGram, or Green Dot Money Pak Card. Ever. Just don’t.

Be careful out there and protect your loved ones.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

If they’re willing to spam you, think twice. No, think three times.

Spam is one of the plagues of the 21st century. Despite feeble efforts of government regulatory bodies (think CAN-SPAM act, which resulted in an increase of spam), spammers continue their tactics. In the second quarter of 2013, per Kaspersky, spam comprised 70.7% of all email sent globally.

All you have to do is look at the kind of things caught by your spam filters to get an idea of the reputability of companies who are willing to spam you – porn, get-rich-quick offers, penis/breast enlargement, Canadian pharmacies (typically run by
Russian crime syndicates), diploma mills, real-estate swindles, wrinkle creams, hair-regrowers, insurance fraud, worthless supplements, cable/satellite/internet/TV scams, weight loss “miracle pills,”… the list goes on and on.

The trouble is – spam is profitable. People answer ads, buy products that they don’t need and that don’t work, and spammers make money.

Granny-Grandma-Internet-old-people

But there’s a reason that spam is also called “junk email” – and that’s because almost everything offered to you by spammers is just that – junk. It’s worthless, and probably worse than worthless – it could end up costing you lots of money and frustration. You would think this goes without saying, but obviously it doesn’t.

Let’s look at an example, arrived freshly steaming in my junk folder today:

CHW

First off, the mail consists of an image, which makes it hard for spam filters to tag it. Anyone who works hard to defeat built-in and ISP protections against spam probably has the ethics of a honey badger.

This particular ad touts a “home warranty service,” which is really nothing more than a pre-paid service contract on home appliances and infrastructure. But what does the Better Business Bureau have to say about CHW?

Government Actions

New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Complaint
Date of Action: 7/28/2014
The following describes a pending government action that has been formally brought by a government agency but has not yet been resolved. We are providing a summary of the governments allegations, which have not yet been proven.

On July 28, 2014, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs filed a Complaint in Superior Court in Middlesex County against CHW Group, Inc., d/b/a “Choice Home Warranty,” an Edison-based company that allegedly induced consumers to buy “comprehensive” coverage for crucial home systems and appliances, and then denied consumers’ claims for repair or replacement through the use of deceptive tactics. As a result, consumers who paid hundreds of dollars for CHW’s “home warranties” – which are actually residential service contracts – were forced to pay out-of-pocket for air conditioning, refrigerator, or other repairs that allegedly should have been covered under their “warranties” with CHW.

As set forth in the State’s complaint, filed by the Division of Law on behalf of the Division of Consumer Affairs:

CHW and its principals often denied claims based on consumers’ supposed failure to properly maintain their covered home systems or appliances. The defendants also often denied claims based on supposed pre-existing defects. The company denied claims even when technicians declared that the covered home systems or appliances had been properly maintained, and/or had failed for reasons not related to poor maintenance or pre-existing problems.

As a way of denying claims, the defendants on many occasions demanded that the consumers provide years’ worth of records to prove they performed regular maintenance on the covered items. These denials were issued despite the fact that CHW’s residential service contract does not state that the company can demand maintenance records from consumers.

Additionally, when consumers requested specific explanations for their denial of claims in writing, CHW on many occasions failed or refused to provide written explanations.

CHW also promised consumers that if covered items could not be repaired, the company would replace them. However, when consumers needed to replace covered items, the company often required consumers to accept cash “buy-outs.” These “buy-outs” were hundreds of dollars less than the consumers’ cost to replace the items.

CHW also repeatedly failed to deliver on its promises for prompt service. In several cases this was because the company failed to pay its contracted technicians.

CHW’s residential service contract states that, upon receiving a request for service, the company will contact a local technician within two days during normal business hours and four days on weekends and holidays. However, CHW did not have contracted technicians in some areas. Consumers in those areas had to find their own technicians, then pay the technicians directly and seek reimbursement from CHW. On other occasions, contractors sent to consumers’ homes by CHW turned out to be unlicensed and/or uninsured.

The State’s Complaint ultimately requests that the Court, among other things, find that the defendants violated the Consumer Fraud Act and Advertising Regulations; order defendants to pay consumer restitution; declare CHW’s residential service contracts with consumers to be null and void; and impose civil penalties.

For more details go to:
http://nj.gov/oag/newsreleases14/pr20140728a.html

In response to these charges, the business provided the following statement:

“We are disappointed that the State has chosen to file this lawsuit. We unequivocally dispute the allegations, intend to vigorously defend against them, and are confident that we will ultimately prevail. Choice Home Warranty has fielded thousands of warranty claims from our customers, resulting in claims payments of tens of millions of dollars. In fact, many of the complaints referred to by the Attorney General’s office, were resolved long ago, to the satisfaction of the consumer.”

This particular suit is ongoing, and allegations have not been proven… but the number of complaints, roughly 300 per year, is probably a pretty good indication that not all is well. I return again to the simple fact that this company is willing to advertise via spam, always a huge red flag in my book.

Have a look at a gripe posted at complaintsboard.com on 3/20/15, yesterday as of this writing:

Every time I called, they sent someone out. I paid the $45, only to find out a repair wasn’t covered. Then, my washing machine was acting up. Replacing the mother boards was more than what the machine was worth. They opted to send me a check for $300. That was a month ago – currently, no check. I then had another claim, and again, it wasn’t covered. So I told them that since they don’t cover items for my home, I wanted to cancel. I received a call last week stating that since I cancelled, they wouldn’t send the $300 check. I told that person that I filed the Washing Machine claim over a month ago, and that check should have already been issued and mailed. He hung up on me. So, I have been emailing CHW about the status of my account and check and received nothing. Then, just now, I called CHW customer service and asked who the President and CEO is, and they put me on hold and never came back on the phone. I want to file a formal complaint. Make sure to have my account closed and have that $300 check which I am entitled to. Horrible, horrible bait and switch and God awful Customer Service.

Here’s one from Ripoff Report:

Our A/C compressor stopped working. It is 17 years old (we bought the home less than 6 months ago) and choice thinks it should last 18 years. They call it “premature failure” which is not due to normal wear and tear, so they denied the claim. They advertise that they will cover your appliances no matter how old. Don’t believe it! Their exclusions are general enough that they can deny any claim.

So you pay to sign up, you pay $45.00 for a service call, and often you are told that the repair isn’t covered… this echoes the kind of allegations leveled by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. And when you try to get a complaint resolved and get the kind of “customer service” related above, you know you are dealing with a company that doesn’t give a rat’s south-40.

Before you even consider dealing with a company that spams you, no matter how appealing the offer may look, do some research.

In the interest of full disclosure, and the Internet being what it is, the presence of a complaint anywhere does not guarantee that a company is malfeasant or dishonest. But as you are doing your research, look for patterns. If there seems to be an abundance of complaints across multiple sites, you might want to look elsewhere. Also, the BBB is in business to make money, and companies can purchase accreditation with them, so being accredited with the BBB is also not a guarantee of ethicality.

As always, please watch over your loved ones – especially the elderly and vulnerable. Educate them to stay away from spam offers if they have access to email.

The Old Wolf has spoken.