Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Archive for the tag “scams”

Telkom Internet scam warning

To those who use Telkom Internet, a got a somewhat different phishing scam e-mail today, which could easily lead people to be unaware that they had been scammed. This was the e-mail:

telkomsa.net Notification

Hello User,

We have stopped processing incoming emails

Due to your refusal to update your account and as a result, we are forced to lock your account and all your services will be suspended.

Use the link below to update your account.

 

Image result for orders buy

 

 

NOTE: This email will be closed if ignored.

 

Kind regards,

 

Supported by telkomsa.net

 

If you clicked on the link, this is what you would see:

With a space to enter your log in details.

You might think that this was a Telkom Internet login, but the actual address was:

http://informatique-securite.website/screenconnect/Bin/telkomsa/telkomsa/Login.htm

I you filled it in, you would be taken to the actual Telkom site, and perhaps, if you entered yourt actual log-in details, it would actually log in to Telkom, and you wouldn’t be any the wiser, except that the phishermen would now have your name and password.

As I usually do in such cases, I filled it in with a bogus name and password (and I advise you to do the same if you ever find yourself on such a site.

My e-mail reader and anti-virus program usually warn me about bogus bank statement phishing attempts, but it didn’t warn me about this one, so be careful.

 

Eish MTN

When I first got a cell phone back in 2001, I got one from MTN, mainly because it was easier to understand their pricing. It was a pay-as-you-go one, and I got it because I was running around trying to organise for a student to travel to Kenya, and getting passports and visas and had to keep phoning.

Now they started sending me all kinds of offers. I’d get an SMS once a week or so, urging me to recharge and get double the air time and things like that. I usually ignored them because I don’t phone a lot, and prefer e-mail to talking on the phone. Then they started sending them twice or three times a day.

Y’ello! Recharge today and get 500% your recharge value from MTN. Offer  valid till 05-AUG-14. T&C’s Apply Opt Out: STOP to 30246 (FREE)

So after all that nagging, I thought I’d try it. I had about R78.00 worth of airtime on my phone, and topped it up with another R60.00. They sent me an SMS to say that the top up was worth R300, to be used within a week.

MTNAyobaI’m hard-put to find enough to talk about for that long, but I phoned some friends I hadn’t seen for a long time, who lived far away, and caught up with their news. By the end of the week I’d used upabout R50.00 or so of the R300.00 they’d given me. So I expected that by the end of the week my airtime would be back to what it was before. But it wasn’t. It was R60.00, the amount I had paid for the recharge, but without the R78.00 I’d had before.

So it’s a scam. They sday they are giving you more airtime, but they take away the same amount at the end of the period. In the end, they give you nothing. They pretend to give you air time to make more calls, but the cost of those calls comes off your original airtime, when the extra airtime expires.

It’s all smoke and mirrors, a ripoff.

EishMTNWell, I did like they said in that SMS, and SMSed STOP to the number they gave, and they said I’d been removed from their marketing list.

But it’s ironic to think that I first joined MTN because I thought their pricing was more transparent, that What You SEE IS What You Get (WYISYG). But it isn’t, not at all.

So it’s Boo! Hiss! to MTN.

Ayoba MTN? No, it’s Eish MTN.

Next time I want a cell phone, I know where not to go.

Weird requests for blog guest posts

Over the last few weeks I’ve been inundated with weird requests from people offering to write guest posts on my blogs. The following is typical of these requests:

I’m getting in touch with you because I’m interested in writing an article
for your blog. I came across your blog post khanya.wordpress.com while
writing for a website on hospitality management – specifically the field’s
trend towards sustainability design. During my research, I’ve found that
incorporating green aspects to hotels, restaurants, and other service
industries has not only contributed to a healthier planet but in some
cases increased revenues.

Please let me know if you’d be interested in an article about both the
design and/or business aspects of sustainable design. Thanks, and I look
forward to hearing from you soon.

To begin with I just deleted them, but then they started sending me reminders, and asking for my response.

So I replied to a couple of these reminders, and asked for a sample of their proposed guest posts, and there was no response to that at all.

Has any one else been getting these offers?

Why would people offer to write a guest post, then remind you of the offer, and then when you take them up on the offer and ask to see the guest post, just not respond?

Are these people who have so much time on their hands that they have nothing better to do than waste other people’s time be generating needless correspondence?

Or are they just harvesting e-mail addresses for the purpose of spamming? If that’s the case, it seems a lot of trouble to go to — to insert the name of the blog and all.

Or is it some kind of hidden scam, like the messages I used to get a year or so ago inviting me to a conference in some US city and in Dakar, Senegal?

After getting several of those, I tried to find more about what it was about by sending enquiries asking for further information about these conferences, but none was forthcoming. I assume that the conferences were all bogus, but I wonder why someone would go to the bother of sending out invitations to bogus conferences. They don’t seem to be looking for any kind of response, because they never respond to the responses.

Another similar thing seemed to come from one persistent guy who called himself or herself Laure Norman. He said he had important information for me. Eventually I asked what the important information was, and the reply was that the important information was that there was important information. In the end I set up my e-mail program to simply bounce back anything received from that source, and I now see that my ISP (whose addresses this “Laure Norman” impersonated) is now marking it as spam at the server, so it never reaches me.

What puzzles me about all this, though, is what’s in it for the people who do it. They’re not asking for money, so there is no obvious scam involved. Does it give them some kind of satisfaction to waste other people’s time and bandwidth?

Phishing expedition

Scammers cracked Val’s Gmail account on Thursday, and sent mail to several (possibly all) people in her address book begging for money and saying she was stranded in Scotland.

This has happened to several other people I know, and I doubt that anyone we know would fall for this scam, but here’s a warning just in case. Most of the scam letters sent out seem to say that the owner of the e-mail account is stranded there, so perhaps the scammers are themselves based in Scotland.

One of the interesting things about it happening to us is that we got a better idea of how phishing scams work, after I had just written a piece on “identity theft” on our family history blog. If you are interested in knowing more and this particular scam, see here.

Hotmail hacked?

A couple of days ago I got an e-mail purporting to come from an acquaintance.

It read:

How are you doing?hope all is well with you and family,I am sorry I didn’t inform you about my traveling to England for a Seminar..

I need a favor from you because I misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money,and other valuable things were kept I will like you to assist me with a soft loan urgently with the sum of $2,500 US Dollars to sort-out my hotel bills and get myself back home.

I will appreciate whatever you can afford and i’ll pay you back as soon as I return,Kindly let me know if you can be of help? so that I can send you the Details to use when sending the money through western union.

The style gave the game away, of course. It was written in the same style as most scam mail, and I could not imagine the real author writing like that.

What concerns me, however, is that it apparently came from the real address of the person concerned, and that the scammer was confident of being able to read any replies addressed to the real address.

My experience with Hotmail has been that it is very unreliable compared with, say, Gmail. Mail sent to my Hotmail account at hayesmstw@hotmail.com usually bounces, and I can no longer even get in to read it, so Hotmail is pretty useless.

But if it can be cracked like this it’s even worse than I thought.

So if you have a Hotmail account, be careful, and if you receive e-mails from friends with Hotmail accounts, be extra careful, especially if they ask you for money.

Blatant phishing expedition — Telkom scam

Someone sent me this blatant phishing message today

Date sent: Fri, 9 May 2008 07:36:09 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Please Verify Your Email Address‏
From: “TELKOMSA SUPPORT TEAM”
Send reply to: helpdeskmailteam@gmail.com
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Dear telkomsa.net Webmail User,

To complete your telkomsa.net webmail account, you must reply to this email immediately and enter your password here (*********)

Failure to do this will immediately render your email address deactivated from our database.

You can also confirm your email address by logging into your telkomsa.net webmail account at http://webmail.telkomsa.net/src/login.php

We apologise for any inconveniences, but trust you understand that our primary concern is for our customers to be totally secure.

THE TELKOMSA WEBMAIL SUPPORT TEAM.

The giveaway, of course, is the Replyto: address — why would Telkom ask for replies to be sent to a Gmail address?

As it was no doubt a mass mailing spam as well, others may have received it, so be on your guard.

Beware artists, authors, photographers — Americans want to steal your work

It seems that American lawmakers are planning a new copyright scam, which will allow people who steal your work to sue you for using it without their permission.

clipped from mag.awn.com

I find nothing funny about the new Orphan Works legislation that is before Congress.

An Orphaned Work is any creative work of art where the artist or copyright owner has released their copyright, whether on purpose, by passage of time, or by lack of proper registration. In the same way that an orphaned child loses the protection of his or her parents, your creative work can become an orphan for others to use without your permission.

Currently, you don’t have to register your artwork to own the copyright. You own a copyright as soon as you create something. International law also supports this. Right now, registration allows you to sue for damages, in addition to fair value.

The only people who benefit from this are those who want to make use of our creative works without paying for them and large companies who will run the new private copyright registries.

These registries are companies that you would be forced to pay in order to register every single image, photo, sketch or creative work

blog it

And if you live outside America, any American will be able to register your work and claim it as their own — remember the scammers who tried to copyright rooibos tea?

I hope this is just an April fool’s joke that’s past its sell-by date, as it’s not from an official source, but the rooibos tea incident shows that it’s just the kind of thing the Americans would do.

Cops nail conman – Daily Dispatch

Dispatch Now 24/7 – Eastern Cape news as it happens � Blog Archive � Cops nail conman:

Police have arrested a handyman who allegedly conned a Dorchester Heights woman out of more than R5 000 by promising her that he refurbish her floor, but then disappearing with her money.

The man was arrested in the Quigney on Tuesday afternoon after he was lured into a trap set up by the woman and the police.

And the Daily Dispatch goes on to say:

Have you had any run-ins with a conman under similar circumstances? Do you have work that’s half-left because somebody disappeared with your hard-earned cash? Blog now and tell us your tails [sic].

So here’s my “tail”.

In November 2001 my wife responded to an ad in the Pretoria News in which someone was advertising to do building work. We wanted some additional rooms built on to our house. The man who placed the ad was one Lukas Neethling. He submitted plans to the municipality, got them approved, laid the foundations, and then disappeared with the money without completing the work.

The conman in question was Lukas Neethling, ID: 590713 5146 08 3.

He drove a metallic blue Audi 500 SE, registration MNS 570 GP with “Ich liebe Sudwest” sticker on the boot lid. His cell phone number was 082-410-5440.

A Pretoria lawyer promised to try to locate him, but never managed to do so.

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