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|Make sure it really is the power company||
Consumer empowerer Clark Howard has a warning about a scammers who call you posing as a utility company that is about to shut off your service. They scare you into giving them credit card or checking account information to "pay your bill" -- then run off with it, of course. <br><br> Always call the company directly to check!
March 1st, 2013
|Help shape the new mashup feature||
<p>Here's a preview of the new mashup feature: <a href="http://purportal.com/mashup/">http://purportal.com/mashup/</a></p> <p>Please try it out and share your thoughts here:<a href="http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YLM87BX">http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YLM87BX</a></p>
December 15th, 2012
|QR Code Malware||
<p>Inventive scammers have started to experiment with QR codes.</p><blockquote> "QR codes typically appear on posters. Once scanned with a mobile phone and opened with a QR reader, app users can get access to a range of content. Train stations, for example, use QR codes to allow passengers to download timetables. But cybercriminals are exploiting their popularity by placing their own stickers on top of the QR codes to take people to more nefarious sites." </blockquote><p> Lots more to read on this:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16005053">BBC</a> <li><a href="http://blog.mobilephonesecurity.org/2011/09/qr-codes-and-security-my-take.html">MobilePhoneSecurity.org</a> <li><a href="http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/money/consumer/scam_alerts/scam-alert%3A-quick-response-codes,-how-you-can-be-tricked">ABC News</a> </ul>
December 11th, 2012
|Who says there isn't money in the arts?||
<h4> Former employee accused of stealing more than $1.4 million from Woodruff Arts Center</h4> <p>"...officials said Tuesday that a former employee submitted $1.438 million in fraudulent invoices over the last five years... In the meantime, officials are seeking to reassure donors their money is being used responsibly... the culprit easily exploited what were gaping holes in the arts center’s oversight processes, officials said."</p>
November 27th, 2012
|The long con: moving in with aristocracy and brainwashing them||
"Thierry Tilly, an alleged modern-day Rasputin was convicted Tuesday of brainwashing three generations of an aristocratic French family for nearly a decade, swindling them of their fortune and their turreted manor and was sentenced to eight years in prison by a court in Bordeaux..."
November 15th, 2012
|Separated at birth?||
<p>Scammers love a scam that works. In the Purportal scammy spam collection we see lots of repeats -- messages that are nearly identical. Check out this list of similar spams and note the differences. Which one do you think is the more effective?</p> <ol> <li><a href="http://purportal.com/spam/454/">Exhibit A</a> / <a href="http://purportal.com/spam/585/">Exhibit B</a></li> <li><a href="http://purportal.com/spam/10669/">Exhibit A</a> / <a href="http://purportal.com/spam/10667/">Exhibit B</a></li> <li><a href="http://purportal.com/spam/582/">Exhibit A</a> / <a href="http://purportal.com/spam/679/">Exhibit B</a></li> <li><a href="http://purportal.com/spam/9849/">Exhibit A</a> / <a href="http://purportal.com/spam/9807/">Exhibit B</a></li> <li><a href="http://purportal.com/spam/2145/">Exhibit A</a> / <a href="http://purportal.com/spam/2326/">Exhibit B</a></li> <li><a href="http://purportal.com/spam/2654/">Exhibit A</a> / <a href="http://purportal.com/spam/2284/">Exhibit B</a></li> <li><a href="http://purportal.com/spam/5556/">Exhibit A</a> / <a href="http://purportal.com/spam/5346/">Exhibit B</a></li> <li><a href="http://purportal.com/spam/11520/">Exhibit A</a> / <a href="http://purportal.com/spam/11702/">Exhibit B</a></li> <li><a href="http://purportal.com/spam/1361/">Exhibit A</a> / <a href="http://purportal.com/spam/2001/">Exhibit B</a></li> <li><a href="http://purportal.com/spam/895/">Exhibit A</a> / <a href="http://purportal.com/spam/810/">Exhibit B</a></li> </ol>
April 23rd, 2012
|Now THAT is how you reply to a scammer||
<p>A friend recently received the following scam email (red box) and responded brilliantly (green box). Try it at home! The more energy scammers put into correspondence the less they have for actual scamming.</p> <div style="font-size: 75%; padding: 1em; border: 2px red dotted;"> <p>Greetings John S,</p> <p>I would like to discuss a business proposal that has the potential for significant earnings.</p> <p>I am currently employed with a privatly held manufacturing company. My company has demand for a specific material that is vital to its processing operations. We are currently purchasing this material at a price well over the manufacturing cost.</p> <p>I would like to explore the possibility of having you stand-in as a new supplier, providing this material while retaining the same profit margins. My role would be to introduce you to my company, as the supplier, and to obtain a contract between you and my employer. I have already discussed sourcing possibilities with the existing manufacturer, leaving room for attractive profit margins. What is still required in order to materialize this venture is an individual who is at arm’s length to oversee these supply chain transactions. The required capital to purchase our initial order from the manufacturer will be funded strictly from myself and no additional investment will be required from yourself. With that said, we can discuss terms and comission structure in the near future.</p> <p>I understand that your experience with The Pantyslut People does not directly relate to my field. However, this venture is more in line with your personal capabilities rather than your professional experience.</p> <p>I would like to confirm your current phone number 4135865179. Please send a return email to verify your contact number and to schedule the most convenient time to discuss these possibilities in detail. I look forward to speaking with you soon.</p> <p>Kindest Regards, Roger Coleman</p> </div> <br><br> <div style="border: 2px dotted #3f3; padding: 1em;"> <p>Dear Mr. Coleman,</p> <p>Thank you for your fascinating and provocative proposal. I am only bewildered at your certainty that my experience with The Pantyslut People will not directly relate to your field of vital materials acquisition. You would no doubt have grave surprise at the variety of experiences required to be A Pantyslut Person. Therefore I offer my assurances that your assumptions are entirely forgivable. </p> <p>Unfortunately the phone number you have for me is out of date. I no longer use telephonic communications because of concerns over surveillance, as I am sure you can understand. I rely entirely on email communications and personal meetings in darkened cafes. If these terms are acceptable to you, I look forward to discussing the terms of my stand-in position as new supplier of specific manufacturing materials for your employer. I understand that the company is privately held. You may rest convinced of my dedication to utmost discretion.</p> <p>Warmly, John S</p> </div>
March 6th, 2012
|Clark Howard helps you outsmart the scammers||
</P>Thriftiness guru Clark Howard has a great archive of short pieces on how to outsmart the scammers who are gunning for you online. Titles include:</p> <ul> <li>How to outsmart email "phishing" scams</li> <li>Websites sharing your info is more common than previously thought</li> <li>Beware of cold calls from bogus tech experts</li> <li>Beware of free trials offers</li> <li>Avoid The Movie Trailer Scam</li> <li>Impostor scams are a fast-growing fraud</li> </ul>
February 14th, 2012
|Google's advice on avoiding phishing||
Google's Chrome browser, like most browsers these days, has a filter that checks sites you visit against a list of known phishing sites. The warning page that Chrome presents also contains a link to a page of good advice on keeping safe from phishing attacks.
February 13th, 2012
|What do they do when they steal your personal info?||
If you've ever bought something from Zappos (like I have), you recently received an email notification from them alerting you to a "data breach," i.e. somebody got customer data from their databases that included names, email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers, etc. Why do the bad guys want this info? CIO.com has the story.
January 26th, 2012
|The OpenDNS Phishing Quiz||
If you're a Purportal regular you probably have a pretty good eye for scams -- or think you do! Try this quiz from OpenDNS that shows you screen shots of 14 sites that may look real at first... but it's up to you to say whether they are or not. Looking at the URLs is the way to tell for sure. If those were hidden I might not have done so well!
January 4th, 2012
|US Postal Inspection Service: Scheme Alerts||
The USPS publishes a handy page of information about active scams relating to the Postal Service. Interesting that all the scams seem to use the internet as their delivery channel... I guess only real old-school scammers use plain paper mail.
December 7th, 2011
|Some hoaxes are just for fun||
"On March 13, 2010 ... the world's largest Twitter hoax. The idea of the hoax was to trick people into thinking Conan O'Brien had joined Internet television company Revision 3. 525 tweets containing the hashtag '#omgconan' were sent in next three hours, making it a Trending Topic on Twitter."
August 24th, 2011
|Scam and repeat||
When scammers find something that works, they'll use it over and over and over again. We see this in the Purportal collection. Not only do similar-to-identical messages often come in on the same day, sometimes they arrive months or even years apart. I analyzed the 8000+ messages in the Purportal collection for similarity, and found hundreds of separated-at-birth pairs like <a href="http://purportal.com/spam/436/">this one</a> and, months later, <a href="http://purportal.com/spam/1580/">this one</a>.
August 23rd, 2011
Sophos presents a detailed look at a Facebook-based scam in which, needless to say, all is not as it appears. Especially the stuff you click on.
June 23rd, 2011