The Auto Warranty Scam

“We don’t actually send out any paperwork without receiving a down payment.”

This from an article by ConsumerMan, written in 2008, addressing the onslaught of fraudulent extended auto warranty offers by mail and by phone.

And here it is, 2016, and the tide has not turned. In the last couple of months, I have received virtually dozens of these solicitations to purchase an extended auto warranty (the companies not realizing that my Prius is already at 165,000 miles in 9 years, and hence ineligible by anyone’s standards.) Here are just 3 examples:

Auto3Auto2

Auto1

An article at Edmunds.com also addresses this ongoing plague. Granted, there’s no way of telling just from a solicitation that any given company is fraudulent or reputable, but the fact that there are so many of these things hitting my mailbox and email and even my phone is a pretty good indication to me that there is a huge and lucrative market for these things, and wherever there’s money to be made the roaches will scurry out of the woodwork.

By the time your manufacturer’s warranty has expired – many of them run up to 7 years or 110,000 miles or even more – your car’s pretty much past its day and you should think very hard about whether purchasing an insurance policy (that’s what these are) is really worth it.

Beware of high-pressure sales tactics and “limited time” offers. Research any company and/or policy carefully before sending any money to anyone. And for heaven’s sake, if a salesman tells you, “We don’t actually send out any paperwork without receiving a down payment,” run away fast.

Be careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

“Dearest in the Lord” – Yes, it’s a scam

Ever get an email like this?

I am Mrs Julie Mayo from United Kingdom. However I know this message may come to you as a surprise, please consider this with all seriousness as I solicit your assistance in the most polite language.
I went through your profile and counted you worthy for this project. I am a dying woman who had decided to donate what I have to Charities. I am 63 years old by age, and was diagnosed of cancer about two years ago immediately after the death of my husband, Life for me in this world is not that important again since we are passing our life in this world so we can have a place in heaven. I have been touched by God to donate from what I have inherited from my late husband for the good work of God, rather than allow his relatives to use my husband’s hard earned funds ungodly.
As I lay on my sick bed, I want you to help me in carrying out my last wish on earth which will be very profitable to you. I want to donate a total sum of ($5.2 Million United States Dollars) to you which I want you to distribute part of it to any charity organisation and for your kindness on this project you are to carry out, I am offering you 30% while 70% of the fund will go to any Charity organizations of your choice for me, please I am looking forward to hearing from you soon so that I can give you more details.
Regards,
Mrs Julie

Guess what? It’s a scam.

Millions of these fraudulent emails are blasted out all over the world from internet cafes in Nigeria, Eastern Europe, and other countries where people have very little money and even fewer morals.

Bad grammar, awkward English, and anything referring to millions of dollars to be split by percentage are red flags for advance-fee fraud, at which so many Africans are supremely adept. The Nigerians even have a song about “the game” – somehow they think that since they’re poor and you’re rich, anything they can get from you is fair game.

There is no money for you in Africa or anywhere else. Never respond to emails like this, unless you’re happy to give your hard-earned resources to criminals.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Please: never respond to a letter like this

Scam letter. Never respond, never fall for these lies.

CONGRATULATIONS

we are pleased to inform you of the result of the just clouded annual final draws of Yahoo FAIR LONDON international programs. You are therefore been approve to Claim the sum of £850,000.00Eight hundred and Fifty Thousand POUNDS.) Your E-mail address is one of 7 lucky Addresses that have won in the Weekly Promotion.                

PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIM

Winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Center. Yahoo Prize Award must be claimed thought their Accredited Agents in South Africa and United Kingdom? Any prize not claimed would be forfeited. Stated below are your identification numbers:
BATCH NUMBER: MFI/06/APA-43658
REFERENCE NUMBER: 2006234522
PIN: 1206
SECRET CODE: 1976
These numbers fall within the SOUTH AFRICA Location file, you are requested to Contact our fiduciary agent in SOUTH AFRICA and send your winning identification Numbers to him, and He is JOHN MORE Consortium. Make sure that you call the African Claim Agent JOHN MORE First and send him all your winning details through mail. Don’t fail to contact him through to contact him through Telephone or email and through email, it is very important that you call him or send email first be sure of your Winning. For further confirmation Please call Claim agent office at SOURCE: INTRALOT S.A. media release CONTACT: Financial Analysis & Investor Relations Manager. SIR JOHN MORE
SIR. JOHN MORE
Fax: 44-870- 974-6825
Email: johnmore@webmail.co.za
2. by Direct Telegraphic Wire Transfer.
The Yahoo Fair London Lottery Licensed Operator shall keep all personal information
You give us as strictly confidential and no personal information shall be made available
to Third parties, unless obliged to do so by law or legal process.
1. Full name………………………….
2. Country…………………………….
3. Full Address…………….
4. Mobile Number (……………..
5. Country of Resident
5. City…………………….
6. Occupation………………………..
7. Age………………….
7. Sex……………………………
8. Company name…………….
9. Your position in your Company.

Congratulations once again.
IT IS OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION THAT HEROES USUALLY EMERGE.
Regards,
Dr. (Mrs.) Mercy Martins
Zonal Coordinator, United Kingdom Award Promotion.
YAHOO FAIR LONDON

It goes without saying that this is complete bulldust. There is no money waiting for you; all you’re doing is giving your personal information and your money (if you’re foolish enough to send it, for “taxes” and “fees” and “bribes”) to African criminals.

Be carful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

A new twist on blog spam

 

I’ve written about blog spam before, a particularly underhanded and sleazy way of driving traffic to another website by flooding others with comments which contain backlinks or IP addresses.

The following chain of comments (unedited) appeared at various posts two days ago; it took me a minute or two to figure out what was going on, wondering if someone was really getting ad-based notices from my blog.

“you advise me to come to thjs site to unsubscribe, yet all i see are ads for your company which is wich you tell me”
“unsubscribe me thank you i am not interested”
“for the third time i an not interseted please do not send me any more blogs”
“not in the least bit interested, thank you”
“stop sendind me ads”

These all came on a single day within 6 minutes of each other, with a name (Salvatore Monda), an email address, and an IP address attached. It’s the IP address that provides the basis for raising search-engine rankings for spurious websites – aside from the fact that this tactic rarely works any longer, Google and others having factored it in to their search algorithms. Yet somehow, devious and stupid people keep trying.

I checked out the IP address – it appears to be defunct already, meaning someone has shut it down before anyone could be driven to it for whatever purposes – advertising, malware, who knows what. Akismet does a good job at filtering out most blog spam, but these look legitimate enough that they slipped through. Fortunately, I get to approve (or trash) comments at this blog before they go live – which I have done.

Salvatore Monda, this one’s for you.*

No Because No

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Not from Yahoo (scam)

yahoo

“Your Mail version is outdated.” “Upgrade your account now.”

Never follow links like this that ask you to enter your email username and password. Would you hand your credit card to a criminal? Don’t give access to your Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, or other accounts to scammers.

If  you have loved ones who are not especially tech-savvy, please protect them from this kind of jiggery-pokery.

Be safe out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

go0dvinez: Malware Central

With uBlock Origin attached to Chrome and a host of other malware protections on my computer, I almost never see ads, spam, malware, popups, popunders, or any such things.

My phone is not so fortunate.

Recently I’ve checked out a couple of things on my Android that had shown up on my Facebook wall, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a blatant effort to redirect, scam, browser-hijack, deceive, and annoy visitors as I experienced today with go0dvines.com (don’t go there.)

When you get a link like [http://go0dvinez.com/bakla-m3t-gayam-t-loko-ka-barok-xyter-iexsa-sonnn-off/], you know something is going to be off in the first place – but that didn’t show up until I did some researching on my desktop. On the phone, as soon as you hit the site, you’re immediately taken on like a six-level-deep redirect, and this is what you see:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I don’t even want to think about what kind of insidious garbage you wuld be downloading to your handheld device if you followed those links or clicked on the install buttons. One of them completely locks your browser; the only way out is to restart.

This is internet evil in its most distilled form, topped only by ransomware viruses and the unspeakable horrors of the deep web where few of us ever wander.

Stay away from this website, and if you see strange things happening to your phone when you follow a link, get out of there as fast as you can. Legitimate websites will never give you virus popup warnings like this.

Be careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Nine more Crypto Emails

Today in the mail, another gush of spam emails, each one with a .zip attachment labelled “invoice” or “statement” or “employees” or some other innocuous title. Each one containing a .js (javascript) file which would download encryption software, corrupt my files, and demand a ransom. Please do not be victimized by these criminals.

From: Carole Middleton <MiddletonCarole95@bol.net.in>
Subject: [SPAM] Re: Chart of Accounts
hello info,
You may refer to the attached document for details.
Regards,
Norma Palmer

From: Beatrice Salinas <SalinasBeatrice75015@slotcarsdirect.co.uk> Subject: [SPAM] FW: vendors

Hi info
The attached spreadsheet contains bills. Please review
Regards,
Beatrice Salinas

From: Devon Garcia <GarciaDevon55@uid.uk.com>
Subject: [SPAM] Re:

Hi info,
As promised, the document you requested is attached\
Regards,
Devon Garcia

Subject: [SPAM] Emailing: Photo 05-11-2016, 98 43 44

Your message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:
Photo 05-11-2016, 98 43 44
Note: To protect against computer viruses, e-mail programs may prevent sending or receiving certain types of file attachments.  Check your e-mail security settings to determine how attachments are handled.

Note: How kind of them to warn me against viruses.

Subject: [SPAM] Emailing: Photo 05-12-2016, 64 94 68

Your message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:
Photo 05-12-2016, 64 94 68
Note: To protect against computer viruses, e-mail programs may prevent ending or receiving certain types of file attachments.  Check your e-mail security settings to determine how attachments are handled.

From: Kareem Sweeney <SweeneyKareem2103@residenceferrucci.it>
Subject: [SPAM] Re:

hi info,
As promised, the document you requested is attached
Regards,
Kareem Sweeney

From: Kristine Brennan <BrennanKristine0377@lemmertzturismo.com.br>
Subject: [SPAM] build assemblies

hello info
Attached please find the build assemblies report for your review
Thank you.
Regards,
Kristine Brennan

From: Mable Ward <WardMable44090@cmsadv.com.br>
Subject: [SPAM] FW: invoices

Hi info
The attached spreadsheet contains employees. Please review
Regards,
Mable Ward

From: Milagros Wiley <WileyMilagros41@telefonica.de>
Subject: [SPAM] receive payments

hello info
Attached please find the receive payments report for your review
Thank you.
Regards,
Milagros Wiley

From: Norma Palmer <PalmerNorma3969@jpowerassembly.org>
Subject: [SPAM] Re: Chart of Accounts

hello info,
You may refer to the attached document for details.
Regards,
Norma Palmer

I post these only in case people out there are searching the web for similar messages.

Be clear: THESE MESSAGES CARRY ENCRYPTION VIRUSES. Do NOT open the attachments!

Be careful out there

The Old Wolf has spoken.