Don’t waste your money on this garbage.

Every time I see a new scam for weight loss, I shed a tear for the people who are taken in. But when I see major retailers pushing snake oil, the tears dry up and are replaced with fiery heat under my collar.

Saw this at Walmart the other day – absolutely nothing new here, they’ve been doing this for a long time, but this is the latest example.

Scam 3

There’s no excuse for this. It’s taking advantage of people who are trying to release weight, selling them something that is just as valuable as the gravel in their driveways.

There is no magic bullet.

The large print giveth, but the small print taketh away: “Kelli used C. canephora robusta with diet and exercise and has been remunerated. Average weight loss with C. canephora robusta was 10.95 lbs in 60 days with a low-calorie diet and 3.7 lbs in 8 weeks with a calorie-reduced diet and moderate exercise.”

Scam 0

Do you happen to detect a trend here? As I mentioned in an earlier post, reducing caloric intake and increasing caloric consumption (i.e. exercise) will cause you to release weight even if you:

  • Take HydroxyCut
  • take homeopathic drops
  • sing an aria from “Aida”
  • stand on your head and spit nickels, or
  • eat a spoonful of Portland cement with each meal.

If  you weren’t sure, C. canephora robusta is also known as “robusta coffee,” a cousin to arabica coffee, and is often used in espresso because of its stronger flavor and increased bitterness.

Coffee. Trying to recycle the “green coffee extract” scam. Let’s look at all the ingredients:

Scam1

You can see that what you’re getting is basically caffeine and some other random herbs. And for weight release, it’s junk. It doesn’t work. And they know it.

To release weight, eat less and/or exercise more, preferably both. If you set up a consistent caloric deficit, you’ll gradually release weight in a healthy way (unless you really have a medical condition preventing it, in which case see your physician.) Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s hard; as I saw posted by a Facebook friend just today:

18402645_1341988729221478_8904592300982774124_n.png

And that’s another conversation. But don’t waste your money at Walmart or elsewhere on this worthless garbage.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Phishing is still very much a thing. Please be careful.

This showed up in a business email account yesterday. Please note, I don’t have an acccount with US Bank, and the “To:” field has an address that is not mine. (click the image to enlarge)


Fraud 0

When you click on the “Login Here” link, if you’re silly enough to do so, this is what you get:

fraud 1

Biggest red flag: the web page you just got redirected to is not usbank.com but rather “http://judybruce.com/obfusticated/usbank.secure.account/” (Judy Bruce is an author, and for some reason her web page has been compromised by malefactors. I have done my best to notify her so she can get this infestation cleaned out.)

Followed by a request for your password:

Fraud 2

But wait, there’s more!

Fraud4

Really, people? You’re just going to give out your sensitive financial information to some random mailer on the internet?

But hey, if you’re going to do that, you might as well give the crooks access to your email account as well:

Fraud 3Fraud 5

Please be careful out there. A bank will never ask you to provide sensitive information of this nature via email or on the web. If you have doubts or questions, contact your financial institution directly before providing any information.

Please protect yourselves and your vulnerable loved ones.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Dear Google News, what the hqiz is this?

I’m used to seeing all sorts of spam and junk ads on the internet – not so much since I have ad blockers at work for me, but a lot of the ads on pages are served up in ways that ad blockers don’t identify them as such.

But when I go to Google News, I expect news articles and not clickbait, bayesian-filtered camel ejecta.

Here’s my news feed this morning (click the image for a larger view):

health

Look at the last five items. Obviously computer-generated text with garbage descriptions designed to thwart bayesian filtering. These are not even tagged as obvious advertisements as they should be.

Even though the “sources” show “The Boyne City Gazette” and “The Inland Empire News,” each link takes you via multiple redirects to “topcanadiandrugs24rx,” a scummy outfit probably operating out of India or Eastern Europe.

canada

Click on the “Real Time Coverage” button for the “story” and this is what you get:

realtime

Come on, Google – you can do better than that.

The Old Wolf has Spoken.

Hard Drive Safety Delete Will Start in Five Minutes

Executive Summary: There is no “hard drive safety delete.” Your machine is not infected. You have been redirected to a malicious web page. Calling “support” will connect you to someone in India who wants to install malware on your computer. Don’t do it.

deleteDelete 2

Just posting this with a sample screen so that anyone who searches for the Zeus virus infection might see it.

A full description of this scam can be found at a previous entry.

Do NOT call 844-813-1552 to ask for support. Be very careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Pump and Dump is still a thing.

Here’s an email I got today, one of several on the same subject.

To: info
From: Dominique Thornton <Thornton91403@bphobbies.com>

Subject: FDA approval is about to send this stock up fifty fold

Why is Quest Management (Symbol: QSMG) guaranteed to jump 5,000% this month?

They have a cure for cancer.
This biotech is run by some of the most prolific scientists in America. Together, they have more than 400 years of experience in the field and have more diplomas than we can even imagine.
Cancer kills 1 out of 4 people in our country and we have all been affected by it either directly or indirectly.
Who doesn’t know someone who’s died from it?
The company’s scientists are targeting cancer using stem cells. They are able to identify the bad cells and destroy them without radiating the entire body (like is common with chemo).
Apart from saving millions of lives, their treatment will surely become the No1 selling drug on earth.
The company has already made serious headway thanks to nearly two decades of research.
This cutting edge biotech company has completed animal trials successfully and just wrapped up FDA-approved human trials last week.
The next step is the public announcement of those results, which we hear through the grapevine have beat all expectations and will change the world of medicine forever.
The results will be announced this month, and once they are out the stock will jump to $25 a share overnight and will continue up to $50 or more quickly after.
“Quest”‘s biotech arm could have a cancer cure that can be totally effective in killing tumors in more than 40% of patients worldwide available in hospitals throughout the globe by the end of the year.
Once that happens, we’re talking about a $1000 a share stock.
We’re literally coming in at the last mile, out of no where, and grabbing profits from their last 2 decades of hard work.

Consider buying QSMG right now while it’s still at under 5 dollars and make sure to tell all your friends to do the same before the price explodes.

If you’re not familiar with Pump-and-Dump schemes that have been around for centuries, here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

Pump and dump” (P&D) is a form of microcap stock fraud that involves artificially inflating the price of an owned stock through false and misleading positive statements, in order to sell the cheaply purchased stock at a higher price. Once the operators of the scheme “dump” sell their overvalued shares, the price falls and investors lose their money. Stocks that are the subject of pump and dump schemes are sometimes called “chop stocks”.

While fraudsters in the past relied on cold calls, the Internet now offers a cheaper and easier way of reaching large numbers of potential investors.

Here’s a chart of Quest Management’s stock over the last 5 days:

 

quest

You can see that on April 17th, the stock was at around $2.50 per share. The next day it had plummeted to around 70¢. It’s possible that the pump and dump had already taken place, and these emails of today were a smokescreen – or an attempt to make another hit.

Penny stocks are, by definition, a very poor place to try to make money – and there are a lot of ruthless and unscrupulous people out there willing to take you for every dime you’re foolish enough to give them.

Be careful out there. Unsolicited email (spam) regarding investment opportunities is worth about as much as the electrons they’re printed on.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Even on Amazon.

In today’s electronic age, where a scammer in Nigeria can take advantage of a little old lady in Broken Clavicle, Wyoming, it’s important to be very careful checking out your sources before you send money to anyone for an online purchase.

I’m in the market for a riding mower, and I was checking out what Amazon had to offer.

Screenshot_2017-04-21-10-28-40-1

 

I found this one that looked interesting, and noticed that there was a used one for sale at a ridiculously low price: $499.00, with free shipping.

Before I did anything, I checked around to see if it’s possible for scammers to set themselves up as sellers on Amazon… Most of the Articles indicated that Amazon has a rather strict vetting process and money back protection.

Edit: After doing some more research, it turns out that Amazon shuts down fake or scam accounts, but only after being notified – and that this is a huge problem, with phony sellers popping up by the hundreds each day.

I did notice that the seller’s storefront indicated that it had just been created, which is always a red flag, but I thought it would be worth at least sending an email to the seller to ask a question. The listing said, “Contact me before you buy!” and provided a contact email, JHONSONY86@gmail.com, so I sent off this inquiry:

How can you sell this item for so little with free shipping? What condition is it in? I know it says “like new” but still…

Here is the response I received:

Hello there,
The product is BRAND NEW, never used, ( US model, not grey market or refurbished).
The product is Sealed in its original box and comes with full Warranty, receipt, all manufacturer supplied accessories.
The total price is $499.00 including all shipping taxes, if you are in US, and for international shipping you have to pay extra 29,99 $ (outside US) .
If you want to buy, send me your phone number, full name, shipping address and I will contact Amazon asap to process your order. Dispatch is by normal UPS Services, which takes 1-3 days depending on where in the US you are.
My return policy is full money back in 30 days.
For more information don’t hesitate to contact me!
Best Regards,
Anthony Johnson

Well, there are so many red flags here that I can’t count them. The way the name was misspelled in the email address, the fact that the email address was in all caps, the bad grammar, and the absolutely ridiculous information in the response – selling a brand new riding mower for 1/4 of the list price, offering free shipping by UPS for a large item like a riding mower, indicating that international shipping would only cost $30 more, all combine to scream “run away fast, this is a scam!”

I wrote the seller back and included a few choice Nigerian insults for him; it was interesting to note today that the offer had been removed from Amazon.

Be ever so careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Your Computer Has Been Blocked! (PS – no, it hasn’t)

scam

If you get a screen like this while doing something like trying to log in to Facebook or something else, usually as a result of clicking on a link after a web search, you are being scammed.

Typically your browser locks up – you can’t go back, you can’t navigate to anything else, and you even can’t close the window. Instructions tell you to call Microsoft support because your system is infected with spyware and viruses.

It hasn’t.

If you call the number (877-382-9050), a friendly person (in India, Pakistan, or somewhere else) will answer. THESE ARE NOT MICROSOFT SUPPORT CONSULTANTS. THEY ARE SCAMMERS AND CRIMINALS. They will ask you some questions about your system, and have you do the following things:

  • Press the windows+R keys to open the “Run” box
  • Type in ” iexplore http://www.go2patch.com ” and hit enter
  • Type in the access code that they give you
  • Press the “Connect” button and then allow the program to run

If you do this, you have just given full access of your system to criminals who will steal valuable information, download real spyware or malware, or turn your computer into part of a botnet to send out spam.

This is just another incarnation of the “Zeus Virus” scam – same technique, different remote connection software.

If this happens to you, hit Ctrl-Alt-Del and open the Task Manager. End the browser task from there, whatever you’re running (IE, Edge, Chrome, Firefox, NCSA Mosaic, etc.)

What do you do if you have already allowed access? According to “Slim,” a registered user at 800Notes.com,

Since the scammers accessed the computer, they probably did one or more of the following:
• Disabled the anti-virus software
• Added nasty malware to the computer
• Copied the Contact List (so they can spam/email your soon-to-be ex-friends)
• Copied any financial data or passwords they could find
• Compromised your ID on Facebook or other social site(s), and perhaps on shopping sites.
• “Zombied” the computer, so it would respond to THEIR commands sent via internet
• Deleted some important files
• Asked for money to repair the damage they caused

What can you do immediately after such an attack?

1.  Pull the cables on the computer, or otherwise disable it, so it cannot access the internet.
2.  Change ALL  passwords stored on the computer.
3.  Run FULL malware scans on the computer, in “SAFE” mode!
4.  Change the passwords again, particularly if the malware scans showed anything.
5.  Inform your bank and credit card companies.
6.  Sign up for credit monitoring, and check the status frequently
7.  Backup non-executable personal, data files to an external storage device.  (Executable files might be infected).
8.  You may have to bring the computer to a local repair shop, and tell them the story.
9.  Tell friends what happened, so they can be aware of strange emails from you.
10.  Connect to the internet only AFTER all the above have been done.
11.  Change the passwords on all online accounts.  Even better – access a “safe”, uninfected  computer, and change your online account passwords RIGHT NOW.

Be careful out there – don’t help the bad guys mess up your machine.

The Old Wolf has spoken.