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Leon's Blogs
Identity Theft Prevention
and How to deal with Identity Theft once you become a victim 

Internet (E-mail) Scams

and How to prevent becoming a victim

Foreword: 

Dear Readers,

It's not bad enough that people hurt innocent people by destroying their hardware with viruses, people also steal our personal information and our identities through the internet (by use of spyware, worms, and phishing scams).  USER BEWARE!

Sincerely,

Leon (Webmaster)

 


Since August 9, 2011, you are visitor number

2466


 

DEFINITIONS OF TERMS:

Identity Theft:  the impersonation of another person for the purpose of material gain; usually leaving the victim bereft of money and with damaged credit (Source: Leon)

Phishing Scam: a scam by which an e-mail user [[OR WEBSITE USER]] is duped into revealing personal or confidential information which the scammer can use illicitly (Source:  Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary)  [[my words in double square brackets]].  Note:  It is called a "phishing scam" because the perpetrator "fishes" for information, which can then be used to steal your identity.  [I have been a victim of such a scam].

Spam: unsolicited usually commercial e-mail sent to a large number of addresses (Source:  Merriam-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary)

Scam:  a fraudulent act, usually done to gain money from unsuspecting persons.

Trojan horse:  Like the original "Trojan horse", a computer Trojan horse is disguised as a legitimate computer program, but has a "hidden" program which is initiated after the seemingly legitimate program is installed.  The "hidden" program is designed to perform some malicious act.  (source:  Merriam-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary).

Worm:  a computer program, which does not destroy one's operating system or hardware, but rather seeks, gains, and disseminates private information.  It usually is very annoying, inconvenient, and can be embarrassing, not to mention very vexing.  (Merriam-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary defines "worm" thusly:  "a usually small self-contained computer program that invades computers on a network and usually performs a malicious action (as taking control of a computer's processor)".

Virus:  a computer program, which is designed to destroy one's operating system or hardware.

Spyware:  software that invades one's computer, usually unknowingly, and changes one's internet settings, as well as hunts for personal information.  It is NOT detected by most anti-virus software and is very difficult to eradicate.

 


Identity Theft
FAQS

Q1.  Do financial institutions (such as banks) have to refund money lost through identity theft?  In other words, are they required by law to do so?

A1.  NO!  (Shocking as it may seem).
Yes, it is true that many credit card companies will reimburse (or give credit) for alleged fraudulent charges (charges that you did not authorize), but there is no law requiring them to do so.

How do I know that?  Because someone stole my identity and made charges to my Zion's Bank debit card online.  It was a new card, and I had used only once on an ATM machine, just to make sure it was working.  Then, I entered some alleged Wall Mart promotion online, where if I gave certain personal information, I would get a $500 WALMART gift certificate (AKA: shopping card).  I gave the information and I never received my gift certificate.  Next thing I knew, my bank account was being emptied slowly by online charges at websites I had never visited.  When I confronted my bank about the matter, they said that there was nothing they could do.  I asked to speak to the bank manager.  He said the same.  I immediately closed my account with Zion's Bank and have never been back.

Now, I NEVER gave my Zion's Bank debit card number to anyone!  I never let anyone see my debit card.  Zion's bank said that someone in my household probably used my card when I wasn't looking.  I lived alone.  The card was NEW.  I had only used it ONCE at a Zion's Bank ATM.  Amazingly, the only information that I gave to the WALMART Phishing Scam was my name and address.  Apparently, that was all that they needed.  Somehow, an insider {probably an employee of Zion's Bank (admitted speculation)} already had a bunch of credit/debit card numbers and just needed to match them up with appropriate addresses and/or names.  My guess is that such data is stored separately, OR is encrypted for security purposes.  Anyhow, I gave them just enough information that they needed to steal my identity.

HERE's the KICKER:  Being the skeptic that I am, I used a false name on the alleged WALMART Promotion.  The address was correct, because the $500 gift certificate (AKA: shopping card) was to be mailed to my home.  When the false and fraudulent charges were made to my debit card, the perpetrators used the false name that I had given to the alleged WALMART promotion.  When I confronted Zion's Bank on this issue, they said that the bank does NOT check to see that names match debit card numbers.  They said that it is entirely up to the merchant to validate a customer's identity.  When I heard that, my mouth about hit the floor!  (as yours probably is right now).

The bottom line is:  people's credit gets ruined and the culprits seldom get caught, AND the victims seldom see remuneration for funds lost nor do they see restoration of their credit.  LIFE SUCKS! BEWARE!

Here is an excerpt from an article from MSNBC:

"...credit cards offer zero liability, meaning fraud victims don't pay the bills incurred by their imposters. And in many well-publicized identity thefts, magnanimous financial institutions — acting above and beyond their federally-mandated responsibilities — refund the money lost by patrons to crooks.

"But not always. Other victims are finding out the hard way that consumers really can lose their money to imposters, and that to get it back they must square off against financial institutions that can take a hard line.

"In fact, banks often put up a 'damn good argument,' said Linda Foley, founder of the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego, Calif. 'And how does Joe Consumer fight a big bank? If you come out whole, you should consider yourself really lucky.'"

SOURCE:

"ID theft victims face tough bank fights getting their money back isn't always easy"
By Bob Sullivan
Technology correspondent
MSNBC
updated 3:35 p.m. PT, Wed., Feb. 18, 2004

 

In fact, I have found out that Zion's Bank (of Utah) is taking a 'hard line' against me, even though I have provided evidence that my identity was stolen and that I did NOT authorize the charges made to my debit card.

Zion's Bank new slogan should be:  "Forgetting Who Keeps Us in Business"

This is NOT LIBEL, because it is a fact.  It actually happened.  I have ALL the documentation to prove it.  Zion's Bank refuses to refund my money that was charged to my account by someone who stole my identity and my debit card number.

Q2.  How can a transaction take place (using a credit card or debit card) when the name on the transaction does not match the name on the card?

A2.  As mentioned above, some banks (like Zion's Bank) do not check to see if the name on the transaction matches the name on the card.  Zion's Bank told me this to my face.  My sister, who is a certified banking compliance officer told me that it is a common practice and that neither is there a law/regulation/mandate for banks to do so, nor is there infrastructure in place to do so.  The only thing that the banks see is the number on the card.  It is entirely up to the merchant to check that the name on the transaction actually matches the name on the card.  Yeah!  I know; crazy, isn't it?  What if the merchant is a crook?

Q3.  What should I do if I suspect that my identity has been robbed and unauthorized charges have been made to my account?

A3.  My sister, who is a bank compliance officer, suggests the following steps:

STEP 1.
Place a “fraud alert” on your consumer credit report. Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act), you are only required to notify one of the three major consumer reporting agencies that you want to place a fraud alert on your credit report. The agencies are required to notify the other two within 24 hours. Or you can notify all three yourself, if you choose (the safest bet). The rules allow you to put a note in your credit file that instructs creditors to contact you at specific telephone number to confirm that you are indeed the person applying for the credit. If creditors fail to contact you before opening the account, they can be held liable, and sometimes criminally liable. 


Equifax  1-800-525-6285  www.equifax.com
Equifax Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
1-888-766-0008

TransUnion  1-800-680-7289  www.transunion.com
TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
1-800-680-7289
Email: fvad@transunion.com

Experian  1-888-397-3742  www.experian.com
Experian Credit Fraud Center
1-888-397-3742
https://www.experian.com/consumer/cac/InvalidateSession.do?code=SECURITYALERT

STEP 1.5
Your initial fraud alert will only be good for 90 days. You do not need any proof to put an initial fraud alert on your credit report. If you have been a victim and you want to extend your fraud alert for five years, you will need to file a police report, send a copy to the three agencies, and complete any other affidavit or process they require.

STEP 2.
Call your credit card company, bank, or whatever else you think has been compromised and activate whatever free fraud prevention programs they have. Be careful about any company that says you have to pay for their fraud prevention services. It is likely some kind of insurance, and probably not worth it. Make sure you go through the proper dispute process. Once notified, banks have up to 10 business days to investigate your dispute. If they cannot complete the investigation within 10 days, they must “provisionally credit” your account for the amount in dispute. They have up to a total of 45 days to complete the investigation. Refer to your Dispute Resolution section on your bank statements. 

If accounts were opened in your name fraudulently, banks are obligated to provide you FREE copies of all the documentation they used (the signed application, etc.) to open the account. They can make you sign an affidavit and provide proof of identification before releasing the copies, however. 

STEP 3.
Notify the businesses where the fraud occurred and attempt to get copies of the receipts or transactions yourself. 

STEP 4.
Keep meticulous copies of all of your records, documentation, disputes, police reports, and MAKE A LOG of all telephone conversations you have: who you spoke with, what their title is, what day, what time, and what was said. 

STEP 5.
Obtain copies of your credit report and review them carefully. Under the FACT Act, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report from each of the three agencies every 12 months. Go to: www.annualcreditreport.com

STEP 6.
File a complaint with the FTC. You can get all kinds of information from the FTC’s web site: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/

AND I WOULD ADD:
STEP 7.
File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
http://welcome.bbb.org/

Please keep in mind that I followed ALL of the steps above, even filing a police report.  After the 45 day investigation by the bank, my account was re-charged the money that I had shown quite clearly was fraudulently and without authorization taken from my account in the first place.  The Bank (Zion's Bank) was merely going through the motions and complying with federal law without ever intending to let me recover my money.  I even tried calling Kari Willis, of bankcard services (in the dispute department) and left a message, but she never returned my call.  Evidently, she does not remember who keeps her in business.  I even wrote a letter to the President of Zion's Bank.  I never got a reply.

Q4.  How can I prevent identity theft?

A4.  There is no way to guarantee that you will not be a victim.  I did everything right and somehow somebody still got my debit card number, even though I had never used it, but once on an ATM machine at my own branch of Zion's Bank.  However, here are some ideas to help:

1.  Get a locking mailbox or P.O. Box, because ID thieves go through your mail.

2.  Shred (or burn) all sensitive documents containing personal information, as opposed to just putting them in the trash, because ID thieves rummage through your trash looking for information that can help them rob your identity.

3.  Do not sign your cards; write "Photo ID required" instead.  [It works!]

4.  BEWARE of PHISHING SCAMS online.  One that got me:  "Fee 500 Dollar Walmart Shopping Card.  Just take our survey!"  I took the survey, never got my Walmart Shopping Card.  And got my identity robbed (not to mention lots of money from my account, dropping me into a negative balance at Zion's Bank).  Keep in mind, I never used my card online, and yet the information I gave was enough for the crooks to steal my identity.

5.  This goes along with #4:  Never use your cards to shop online, except with companies that you trust, such as Amazon.com.  I trust Amazon.com implicitly, have used it several times with no problems.  Never give out personal information in surveys or for so-called: "Free Registration" on websites that you are not sure of.

6.  Check your account balances frequently, because the sooner you catch the fraud, the easier it is to deal with it.  In fact, there is a 60 day limit in most cases, to dispute unauthorized charges to your account.

7.  Keep your cards in a safe and secure place at all times, and don't let merchants disappear from your sight with your card.  [My sister says that sometimes they'll go in a back room and make photocopies of your card to use later.

8.  THE BEST:  Get rid of all your cards and checks & Just use cash instead of cards or checks.  And, never get a debit card with Zion's Bank!

9.  Make photo copies of all your cards (front and back), in case you lose your wallet, and keep them in a safe place (separate from your wallet, of course).  Call and cancel all cards ASAP when lost.

 

Watch out for so-called "Privacy Policies"

Watch out for www.perfectmatch.com!

Jossie Bisset and Dr. Pepper Schwartz should be ashamed of themselves.  As if they aren't making enough money as it is, they have to sell peoples email addresses to make even more money.  On the front page, it says:  "Get your free compatibility profile."  Then, if you click on the link, you are required to input various personal information, including your email address.

PerfectMatch.com's privacy policy specifically states:

8. The Security of Your Information:  We work diligently to protect the security of your personal information, including credit card information, during transmission by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software, which encrypts information you input. Your data is kept in a highly secure environment protected from access by unauthorized parties. It is important for you to protect against unauthorized access to your password and to your computer by ensuring you logoff when finished visiting PerfectMatch.com using a shared computer (such as computers from work, cyber-cafes or libraries).

But, at the end of the privacy policy there is this statement:

19. Transfer of Our Assets:  Maintaining the confidentiality of our customers' information is an important part of our business, and we are not in the business of selling or sharing it with others. However, as we continue to develop our business, we might sell or buy assets. In such transactions, customer information generally is one of the transferred business assets. In the event that PerfectMatch.com is, or substantially all of PerfectMatch.com's assets are, acquired by another company, customer information will be one of the transferred assets and that company may revise this Privacy Policy consistent with the “Updates to our information practices” section above.

Most people don't bother to read the privacy policies, because most privacy policies don't have that last little get-out-of-having-to-keep-customer-privacy clause at the end  (basically a get-out-of-jail-free card).  How's THAT for some "fine print"?

I didn't read the so-called "fine print" and I gave PerfectMatch.com my email address.  The very next day, I got approximately fifty SPAM (Solicitors & Peddlers Attack my Mailbox [my own acronym]).  And everyday since then, I've gotten approximately fifty more SPAM in my mailbox.  In appreciation to PerfectMatch.com's giving my email address out to vendors and SPAMMERS, I'd like to return favor.  I means it is the least I can do.  Here are the email addresses of PerfectMatch.com:

ms@perfectmatch.com

ms@info.perfectmatch.com

Corp@MarketRange.com

How's that for "fine print"?  Do you think I'm done ranting?  No way!  I'm only getting started!  PerfectMatch.com has really crossed the line with me!  PerfectMatch.com uses the the word "Free" too freely.  I mean... I spent an hour (no exaggeration) filling out all their profile questions just to get some diagnostic of my personality... like I don't know my own personality.  Then, PerfectMatch.com asked me for over a hundred dollars to post my profile and be able to view other profiles.  Now, I'm not about to spend ANY money until I see the other profiles.  Needless to say, I was extremely "Ticked Off".  My time is extremely valuable, (as is yours, I suspect).

MarketRANGE, Inc. should learn how to market things in ways that are appealing, yet HONEST!  People appreciate honesty, and they are not impressed with goods and services that employ methods of fraud and deception to "bait" potential customers/clientele.

MarketRANGE, Inc., if you were working for me, I'd say, "YOU'RE FIRED!"

Hiding some "get-out-of-privacy" clause in a "privacy policy" seems a bit of a contradiction, don't you think?  Maybe you should call it, "Lack of Privacy Policy".  That would seem more indicative of the true policy.

 

 SCAMS 

NEWEST E-MAIL SCAM:

From: Windows Microsoft™ Center (jadhav.vrushali@hotmail.com)
Sent: Fri 8/26/11 9:49 AM
To: accounts.customers.rep82@hotmail.com

Special notification email messaging from Windows microsoft™


Dear Windows Live Hotmail User,

Thank you for being one of our valued users of Windows Live Hotmail. We hope you are enjoying it and having fun using Windows Live Hotmail & other Windows Live services. We are constantly working to improve the service to you.

Please be informed that due to the recent upgraded of the service, we would be closing both all unused and anonymous registered accounts. You are receiving this email because your account is among those to be deleted, and your verification would be needed, to enabled you to continue the activities of your account. Verify it by clicking on the reply button in order to reply back to this message and fill out the information required below:


* Username :
* Password:
* Date of Birth:
* Present Country Or Territory: 

XE23Y88Z

Enter the 8 characters you see: . 

Warning!!! Account owner that refuses to verify his/her account after a week of receiving this warning, will lose it permanently.

Microsoft controls the data collected in this survey and may use your responses (together with existing data we have about you) to make sure its products and services meet your needs and preferences. Microsoft will treat all data collected from you in accordance with our privacy policy.

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

Case ID 153114773YXUD9

Total, and complete LIE!  SCAM!  Microsoft would NEVER ask for your username and password.  They don't need it.  They can access any account with administrative access.  Plus, look at the sender's e-mail address.  Now, does that look official?

 

 

Have you ever received a letter like the following letters?

From: sarahjph04@hotmail.com
To: sarahjph04@hotmail.com
Subject: Account Alert!
Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2011 13:53:33 -0800

Dear Account User,
 

This message is from our data base center to all free Hotmail account owners. We are currently upgrading our data base and e-mail account center. We are deleting all unused accounts to create more space for new accounts. To prevent your account from closing, you will have to update it below so we will know that it's a presently used account. To do this, You have to click on your reply button to reply back to this message and then you fill the information below.
 
* Name: ……………………..
* User name : …………………….. 
* Password: ………………………. 
* Date of Birth: ……………………… 
* Country Or Territory: ……………

  
 

After following the instructions in the sheet, your account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal. Thanks for your attention to this request. We apologize for any inconveniences.
 
 
Sincerely,
The Windows Live Hot mail Team
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

 

WOW!  I can't believe that anyone would actually fall for that one!  First of all, look at the e-mail address of the sender.  So wrong!  Then, NO company will EVER ask for your password.  Why?  Because they don't need it.  They have administrative access to ALL user accounts.  They have absolutely NO NEED for your password.  Boy!  I hope you didn't fall for that one!

Dear _________,

I am Mrs. MARY CLEMENT from Ivory Coast. I am a widow being that I lost my husband a couple of months ago. My husband was a serving director of the Cocoa exporting board until his death .

He was assassinated last january by the rebels following the political uprising. Before his death he had a foreign account here in ________ up to the tune of $18M which he told the bank was for the importation of cocoa processing machine.

I want you to do me a favour to receive this funds to a safe account inyourcountry or any safer place as thebeneficiary .

I have plans to do investment in your country, like real estate and industrial production. This is my reason for writing to you. Please if you are willing to assist me and my only son, indicate your interest in replying soonest.

Thanks and best regards .

Mrs.MARY CLEMENT

e-mail address:  mary.clement2@laposte.net


It is a scam, and you should NEVER send money NOR give your bank account information to anyone whom you don't trust.

Here's another one:

MR.RICHARD MAKELE
STANDARD BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA,
9TH FLOOR,
HEERENGRACHT TOWER,
STANDARD BANK CENTER,
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH
AFRICA.

Attn: The President/CEO
Reply to: richardmakele@indiatimes.com


I am Mr. Richard Makele, Provincial Director Standard Bank of South 
Africa,Johannesburg Branch. I have urgent and very confidential business proposition for you.

On June 6, 1999, a foreign Oil consultant/contractor with the South 
Africa Mining Corporation, Mr.Richard Moss made a numbered time 
(Fixed)Deposit for twelve calendar months,valued at US$12,500,000.00 (Twelve Million five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in my branch.  Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract employers,the South Africa Mining Corporation that Mr.Richard Moss died from an automobile accident. On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a WILL,and all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless.

I therefore made further investigation and discovered that Mr. Richard Moss did not declare any kin or relations in all his official documents,including his Bank Deposit paperwork in my Bank. This sum of US$12,500,000.00 (Twelve Million five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) is still sitting in my Bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year. No one will ever come forward to claim it.According to South Africa Law, at the expiration of 5 (five) years, the money will revert to the ownership of the South Africa Government if nobody applies to claim the fund.

Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you as a foreigner to 
stand in as the next of kin to Mr. Richard Moss so that the fruits of this old man's labor will not get into the hands of some corrupt government officials. This is simple, I will like you to provide immediately your full names and address so that the Attorney will prepare the necessary documents and affidavits which will put you in place as the next of kin.

We shall employ the service of two Attorneys for drafting and 
notarization of the WILL and to obtain the necessary documents and letter of probate/administration in your favor for the transfer.
A bank account in any part of the world which you will provide will 
then facilitate the transfer of this money to you as the beneficiary/next of kin. The money will be paid into your account for us to share in the ratio of 60% for me and 40% for you.

There is no risk at all as all the paperwork for this transaction will be done by the Attorney and my position as the Branch Manager 
guarantees the successful execution of this transaction. If you are 
interested,please reply immediately via the private email address below.

Upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details and 
relevant documents that will help you understand the transaction.

Please observe utmost confidentiality, and rest assured that this 
transaction would be most profitable for both of us because I shall require your assistance to invest my share in your country.

Awaiting your urgent reply via my email:

richardmakele@indiatimes.com

Thanks and regards.

Mr.Richard Makele.

Never send personal information to such people.  I have read about incidences in the news about how people have sent their personal information and their bank accounts have been emptied.  The perpetrators never get caught and they keep on stealing innocent people's money. 

Here's another scam:

FROM: MRS AMINA AHMED.

I am the above named person from Egypt but now undergoing treatment. It is my humble pleasure to write you this important letter, irrespective of the fact that we have not meet for the first time or known each other before. Suddenly you got this mail and may be doubting and wondering how I got your mail contact. I am looking for a liable and trust worthy persons that can handle this Charity work for me. I was married to Dr.Ahmed Ali who worked with Egyptain embassy in ABIDJAN for many years, before he died in the year 2003. We were both married without children. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only some months. Before his death we were both into humanaitarian work and since his death I decided not to re-marry. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of USD8,500,000.00 (eight Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) with a finance security company for safe keeping as a bond deposite.I will send you details as soon as you indicate your interest. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Six months due to my cancer illness. Having known my condition and with this fear from the doctor I have decided to entrust this fund to an individual who will use it for charity. The finance security House have agreed to relocate these fund in a consignments for you in your country. Please do not fail to spread the funds across the globe especially AFRICA as soon as you receive the money for the charity work. The world made us to understand that it is more blessed to give than to receive. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are fighting over the properties and I don't want my husband's hard earned money to be misused by their greedy attitude. I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an WRONGLY manner, hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health, and because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact information Of my attorney who will be in charge of the documentation of the papers works before the consignment can leave from the finance security company to your country,according to my attorney. I will also issue you a letter of authority/Power of Attorney that will make you the beneficiary of this fund. I want you to always pray for me for my health. I sent you this mail under severe pains. I await your urgent response via my e-mail to enable me give you further information on the development of things and how we should go about it. Please assure me that you will act accordingly. Hoping to hear from you immediately. Thanks & remain blessed.

Mrs. Amina Ahmed.

aminaahmed@jumpy.it

Man!  They are really coming out of the woodwork.  Here's another one.

Dear Friend,

Excuse me if this message will offend your person and if you can not colaborate with us as we are going to inform you here, pls do well to notify us amicably in time as we hope that you will treat with most kindly. Mrs. Maryam Abdulahi is my name and I am the Computer Opera tress of our Swift Standard Machines in our Bank International Du Benin (BIBE) SA, Foreign Operation Department in Jericho Branch-Cotonou. I wish to request for your cooperation to stand and receive the sum of US$13.261.210.00(Thirteen Million, Two hundred and Sixty One Thousand, Two hundred and Ten United State Dollars.) This fund belong to one of our Petroleum OIL Merchant who is also a Petroleum Product's Supplier in our Country hence our country is not a petroleum and oil producer's like some other Countries in African Region. Engineer Aziz is this client name from Lebanon who eventually died with his entire Family in the recent Air Crash that took place here in Cotonou on 25th December 2003. Since we could not trace any of late Aziz抯 Family member's remaining, my Boss and other key member's in our Foreign Operation Department have decided to strike this fund out with an outsider whom we will present as the Family member to this Eng. Aziz抯 since the country the person may come will not matter in this case. We shall furnish you with all the banking details and the last credit balance of Eng.Aziz including all the fund status and documents to transfer the fund into your bank account if you declare you interest to collaborate with us share this fund after transferring it to you. We shall also like to negotiate for each partiess sharing percentage from the fund and will also like to have a biding agreement with you before transferring the fund to you in our both interest. Should you have any question or information, hesitate not to contact us immediately through my email or to my Boss, Mr. Joseph Oba at (mr_joba@yahoo.com ) while you should not hesitate to inform us in time if you are interested or can not handle this deal with us so that we can look for another person in time. Waiting for your soonest response.

Sincerely Yours,

Maryam.

maryam@3xl.net

 

Since most of these scams come from Islamic countries, I'm pretty sure that they originate from Islamic Militant groups, who desperately need money to finance their cause.  They almost always mention that they are women.  Why?  Because people tend to trust women more than men.  I don't trust women any more than I can throw them (but that's because I've been ripped off by women more than by men).  But, anyways.  You get the point.

Here's another one:

Dear Friend,

I am Mrs. Mariam. Abacha, the widow of General Sani Abacha the Late Nigerian Head of State. I am presently in distress and under house arrestwhile my son Mohammed is undergoing trial in Lagos and Abuja though he has just been recently granted bail under the condition that my family refunds to the Federal Government some amount of money. The government has frozen all the family account and auctioned all our properties. Refer to this website about my husband's loot and you will understand what I mean http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1935646.stm To save the family from total bankruptcy I plan to ship through an undercover courier company,the sum of US24, 000,000.00. kept by my late husband.The money was was carefully packed into a Trunk Box and deposited with the Company has Material`s of Inheritance and Jewelries to beat the Nigerian Security. However,because of the security Watch on us,i may not be able to carry out this Transaction with you.And also because of the numerous SCAM`s going on in my Country,and the fact that alot of people might be taking advatntage of our situation for such Scam`s.I had to soilicit the assistance on an Oversea Lawyer to help us in this Transaction. On your willingness to assist us,i will want you to contact my Lawyer immediately and forward the following information`s to him. 1:Full Name 2:Complete Address 3:Tel/Fax Number`s 4:Age 5:Occupation As they will be needed by him in preparing relevant Document`s to back up this Deal. He can be contacted with the following Address,he is a Barrister Working Under a reputable Lawfirm in the UK.His Direct Contact`s are as follow`s: His Name: Barrister Kanoba Philips Name Of Firm: Abrahamson&Associate`s Address Of Firm: 10 North End Road,Golder`s Green.LondonNW11 7PH Tel/Fax: +44-700-594-2658 E-mail: bar_philips@yahoo.fr Conclusively, we have agreed to offer you 30% of the total sum while 70% is to be held on trust by you until we decide on a suitable business investment in your country subsequent to our free movement by the Nigerian Government. Endeavour to send the above information`s. 

Sincerely Yours,

Mrs. Mariam Abacha.

from:  ma9550242@bluehyppo.com

 

Don't be fooled by the supposed legalness of the letters.  You will be taken for a ride.  You will lose all your money.  This is a scam!  Oh, yeah!  Like they are going to trust a complete stranger to give them 70% of their money back after giving it to us.  Oh, okay... right!   I believe ya.  It just doesn't make any sense, and the so-called "lawyer"... why doesn't he do the transaction himself?  There's no reason why he shouldn't.  It is bogus!  Don't be fooled!

Here's yet another one...

How are you and your family today? I hope that you are all okay? I found information about you and decided to contact you for an important assistance. I am Michael Nkomo a citizen of Zimbabwe , but i am contacting from a neiboring country here in IVORY CAOST where i am now sicking political assylum. I am the only son of Kenneth Nkomo, a wealthy farmer and senior politician with the opposition political party in my country, Movement for Democratic Change [MDC]. My father was murdered by our wicked President, Robert Mugabe and I fled my country because I have become his next target to eliminate. My father was a fighter for Justice and a moving force in the MDC, a part wanting to end the several years of brutal dictatorship government of President Robert Mugabe. You will read more stories about President Mugabe's brutal acts by visiting this web sites; <<<http://www.rte.ie/news/2000/0418/zimbabwe.html>>> My father was accused of Treason and also assisting the White farmers in fighting the government. Few weeks after his arrest, he was reported dead. The government claimed he died of heart attack and his body was never seen for proper autopsy, they buried him in the government cemetery. My father's associate Mr. Martin Olds a White farmer from Britain assisted me in fighting my father's death through the Court and media; the government saw us as a big treat to them and decided to eliminate us. Mr. Olds was attacked and murdered in his house, but fortunately, before they came looking for me, I received the news and I had to flee through the border to South Africa to save my life. My arrival here in IVORY COAST still remains like a miracle to me. Here, is my reasons for contacting you, I am having a huge sum of money in the total sum of $13.6Million presently lodge with the security company in which has immunities in most west african/europian countries My father kept this money in in two trunk boxes in disguise as family treasures and could not bank them, because of the situation in my country. My father's business, farms and banks account were seized by the government before his arrest and murder. He told me everything concerning the funds while he was still in detention and I have made several arrangements concerning the shipment of the boxes out of my country because we cannot invest it there. I was on the process when I fled the country. I need your assistance in securing the funds there in your country, so that I can arrange on how to come overto your country to invest with the fund I am willing to offer you 30% of the $13.6Million for your assistance. Please, let me know if you can assist me, so that I can give you more details on how we shall proceed. As I wait for your urgent response, please treat this information as top secret. 

Regards,

Michael Nkomo

From:  lovemicnkomo@telstra.com

 

Jeeze, Louise!  These scams must really be working!  People must actually be sending their personal information to these people so that scammers can take advantage of said people.  Do your research!  13.6 million dollars is probably the whole domestic product for Zimbabwe.  There's no way they have that much money.  It's a scam, plain and simple.

Holy Mackerel!  Here's another!

The Head, Foreign Operations Dept.
Intercontinental Financial Bank Ltd,
Plot 248 Adeola Odekun Street,
Victoria Island, Lagos - Nigeria.
Email: albertuche@katamail.com
CONFIDENTIAL LETTER.

Dear friend,

I am the manager of Foreign Operation Department of the Intercontinental Financial Bank Limited, Lagos. I am writing you this letter to ask for your support and co-operation to carry out this transaction. We discovered an abandoned Sum of US$20Million (Twenty Million U.S Dollars) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer (Engr. Evin Nico) who died along side his entire family in November 1997 in a plane crash in Lagos. Since this incident, we have advertised for his next of kin or any close relation to come forward to claim this money, but nobody came to apply for the claim. To this effect, I decided to look for a trusted foreign partner who can stand in as the next of kin to the deceased and claim this money. We need a foreign partner to apply for the claim because of the fact that the customer was a foreigner. And we don't want this money to go into the banks treasure as unclaimed fund. Every document to affect this process will emanate from my table and I will perfect every documents to be in accordance with the banking laws and guidelines, so you need not to worry about this. You are required to provide bank account for us to use for this purpose. We will use normal banking procedure and legal means to transfer the fund legally and immediately within seven to ten working days. I therefore, request your absolute secrecy and confidentiality during this transaction. And you need to assure me that you will not disappoint me when the fund is transfered into your account. We have agreed that 35% of the money will be for you, 5% for expenses incurred on the both sides while 60% will be for me.If you are going to help me, indicate by replying this mail as soon as possible. Please respond to only this email address:Email: albertuche@katamail.com I await your immediate reply to enable us commence the funds transfer. Thanks for your anticipated assistance.

Your's faithfully,

Albert uche Manager,
Foreign Operations .

from: albuche@mailrun.co.uk

 

I can't believe this!  They just keep coming and coming!  The terrorists much be really hurting for money, 'cause most of their accounts are frozen.  Well, here's another:

From: Gen. Ahmed Suleman
Tel: 234-80-238-13271
Attn: CEO,

Dear Sir,

REQUEST FOR URGENT JOINT VENTURE INVESTMENT

It is with trust and confidence that I make this urgent business proposal to you. Your name was referred and recommended in confidence to me by a good friend who assured me of your reliability and trustworthiness because I have been very careful due to the sensitive nature of this transaction notwithstanding the resent dishonesty that surrounds the world today. I am Gen. Ahmed Suleman one of the Special Adviser to the past Military Government in this position I was privileged to keep in my custody for the government, the sum of twenty one Million, five hundred thousand U.S Dollars US$21.500.000.00) only to the knowledge of the head of state. This money was diverted from the money, which United Nations released through the Nigerian Government to ECOMOG (Peace Keeping Forces) for its operations in Liberia and Sierre Leone. Suddenly the former head of state died on the 8th June, 1998. Now that the former head of state abruptly died I have this money still under my control but kept in the custody of a Finance and Security Company/Firm in Oversea. Due to restriction placed on me since the death of the former head of state, I cannot operate foreign account and cannot travel out of the country for contract and evacuation and safe keeping of this money. Based on this, I need you as a partner whom I Can entrust and channel this money for a proper investment and in a joint venture platform in your country. As soon as you contact me and finalize, my wife or my Son will be coming to your country to have a meeting with you, through which you will sign a TRUST BOND or AGREEMENT with my family concerning the safety of the transaction and more so establishing a mutual understanding in both parties. Please be rest assured that the transaction is 100% risk free and must be treated with utmost confidentiality. Firstly 25% of the total sum has been mapped out for your assistance and also 25% for joint venture investment in your country while 50% will be kept in your account for my private use. It is imperative to let you know that my aim of contacting you in this business is because of the good recommendation made about your goodself and my personal love foryour country as per investment, therefore, I will be relying on your advise as regards investment in a blue chip stock in your country. Could you please reply on receipt of this letter using my email including your private tel and fax in your reply for easy communication. Thanks for your cooperation

Gen. Ahmed Suleman (Rtd.)

from:  degoal@tiscali.fi

 

Even if it were partly true, that they needed somebody to help them get money from some frozen account, do you really think they'd share it with you?  Hell, no.  After you get the money for them, they'll kill you so you couldn't tell anyone about it.  It's a scam, plain and simple.  Don't do it.  You will either end up in jail or dead or penniless or all three.

Here's another one:

Barrister Mohammed Sule.
Udenwa Chambers,
Plot 137 Alake Street. Victoria Island. 
Lagos,Nigeria.
Email::barrister_mohammedsule@fastermail.com

Att: 

I am Barrister Mohammed Sule a solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney to Mr. Mark G .a national of your country, who used to work with Shell-development Company in Nigeria. Here in after shall be referred to as my client. On the 21st of April 2001, my client, his wife were involved in a car accident along sagamu express road. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. 

Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients extended relatives this has also proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you.

I am contacting you to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposit were lodged.

Particularly, the ( finance company) where the deceased had an account valued at about US$21.5 million dollars has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account confiscated within the next ten official working days.

Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 3years now I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased, so that the proceeds of this account valued at US$21.5 million dollars can be paid to you and then you and me can share the money. 

We shall work together to secure all necessary legal documents to back up this claim and ensure that this fund is released in no distant furture.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal Through.I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.

and send to me your telephone and fax numbers to enable us discuss further about this transaction.

Best regards,
Barrister Mohammed Sule
barrister_mohammedsule@fastermail.com

from:  barrister_mohammedsule01@yahoo.fr

 

Two words:  "Bull" and "Crap".  Here's another one:

FROM MR. Emmanuel John.
AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING UNIT.
FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPT.
UTB BANK OF LOME-TOGO.
alternatively e-mail address;emmanuel_2002@mail15.com

Dear Friend,

I am MR. Emmanuel John, the director in charge of auditing and accounting section of UTB bank of Lome-Togo in west Africa with due respectand regards.I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial toboth of us at the end of the transaction.During our investigation and audting in this bank,mydepartment came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person who died on November1999 in a plane crash and the fund has been dormantin his account with this bank without any claim ofthe fund in our custody either from his family orrelation before our discovery to this development. Although personally, I kept this information secret within myself and partner to enable the whole plans and idea be pofitable and successful during the time of execution.The said amount was USD$6.5m (SIXMILLIONFIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS).As it may intrest you to know, I got your impressive information through my good friend who works with chamber of commerce on foriegn business relations here in LomeTogo. It is him who recommended your person tome to be viable and capable to champion a business ofsuch magnitude without any problem. Mean while all the whole arrangement to put claim over this fund as the bonafide next of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to a foriegn accounthas been put in place and directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your intrest and willingness to assist us andalso benefit your self to this great business opportunity. In fact I could have done this deal alone but becauseof my position in this country as a civil servant, weare not allowed to operate a foriegn account and would eventually raise an eye brow on my side during thetime of transfer because I work in this bank. This isthe actual reason why it will require a second partyor fellow who will forward claims as the next of kin with affidavit of trust of Oath to the bank and also present a foriegn account where he will need themoney to be re-transfered into on his request as it may be after due verification and clarification by designation bank account. I will not fail to inform you that this transactionis 100% risk free. On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitiled to 30% of the totalsum as your share, 10% will be set aside to take careof expenses that may arise during the time of transfer including telephone bills, while 60% will be for meand my partners. Please you are adviced to keep this business secret as we are still in service and intendto retire from service after we conclude this deal with you. I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank until you confirm the money in your account, then we shall come down to your country forsharing of the fund according to percentages indicated above as well as discussing with you for the investment of the bulk of our shareseither in your country or which ever country you peceive investment friendly and profitability. All other necessary information will be sent to youwhen I hear from you. I suggest you get back to me assoon as possible stating your opinion in this deal.

Yours faithfully,

MR Emmanuel John

from:  jane_mrs@yahoo.fr

 

Eh! Emmanuel, I wasn't born yesterday!

I give up.  Everyday, I get two or three more of such letters in my email.  There must have been some mandate from Usama Bin Laden to do such fund-raising scams, 'cause just about every Al Quaida cell has sent me email trying to get money from me.  I'm not going to be posting any more of such letters.  I think you get the point.

However, I WILL post their email addresses, because virus and worm manufacturers/sender have special e-mail extraction programs that extract e-mail addresses off of websites, like mine.  The hope is that the people who perpetrate these scams will get a worm and/or virus on their computers, so they'll stop bugging the crap out of me.  If you want, you can put these email addresses in your e-mail filters so that you aren't bothered either.

Here are the email addresses:

 

NOTE:  Some e-mail messages told me that I had won a lottery, and that I should submit some personal information in order to collect my winnings.  In order for one to win a lottery, one must buy a lottery ticket.  Since I bought no such ticket, so these are obviously scams, done to empty my bank account of all its money.

 

NOTE:  Some email messages say you're the sole inheritor of millions of dollars.  Ha!  Funny.

 

 

 


  VIRUSES & WORMS 

The people who send viruses and worms are getting very tricky (deceptive), and even the most alert person can be deceived into letting the worm or virus onto their computer.

Here are some ideas to prevent worm and viruses from infecting your computer:

1.  Don't open any email from unknown email addresses.  (Sometimes this is impossible, as in my case.  My profession dictates that I MUST open all my email).

2.  If you chose to disregard #1, NEVER open any attachments from persons you do not know.

3.  If you have anti-virus software, you may think that it is safe to open scanned attachments, but worms and viruses can hide in ".zip" files, undetected by any anti-virus software.  If you open the .zip file, you will unleash a havoc-reaking worm or virus that will not only affect your computer, but quite possibly many others as well.

4.  Do not believe an email message which claims to be from MSN, Hotmail, or Yahoo, which has an attachment, because those companies will NEVER send you attachments.  If you receive an attachment from such frauds, DO NOT OPEN the attachments.  If you do, you will be sorry, just like the people of the city of Troy were sorry.

I recently recieved an e-mail message from staff@yahoo.com

It read something like:

Dear Yahoo User,

Your account will be permanently suspended due to improper use.  If you are still using this account, please make arrangements to stop using it or acquire a new account.  For more information, open the attachments.

Sincerely,

Yahoo Staff

The first attachment was a ".bmp" file, which I think is a picture, but I wasn't stupid enough to open it, so I'll never know for sure.

The second attachment was a ".zip" file, and a secret code was given to open the attachment.  I had been fooled by such a deception before.  I had opened a .zip file, with the secret code given, and there was nothing in the file!  Well, there was something, I just couldn't see it.  It was a worm that got into my hotmail and yahoo email accounts (as soon as I logged in) and started sending worms to all the people in my address "book".

WARNING:  NEVER OPEN .ZIP FILES, EXCEPT FROM SOURCES THAT YOU COMPLETELY 100% TRUST.  WHY?  BECAUSE VIRUS PROTECTION SOFTWARE CANNOT PENETRATE .ZIP FILES AND "SEE" WHETHER OR NOT THEY CONTAIN HARMFUL SOFTWARE,  SUCH AS TROJAN HORSES.  What I do is send email to the sender (whom I know), and ask him/her, did you send me that .zip file?  If he/she says, "No,"  THEN I DON'T OPEN IT!

I'm telling you, it isn't worth it.  Curiosity killed the cat.  Luckily, the cat has nine lives.  But, it is a pain in the neck (and the pocket book) to be dealing with worms and viruses.

THE REST OF THE STORY:

In case you are dying to know what happened next...

I had learned my lesson before, so I just hit the "Spam" button and then deleted the message.  No harm done.  But, many people could easily be fooled by such heinous email.

 

5.  Beware of messages from "mailer-daemons" or "postmaster", with subjects, like:  your email is undeliverable.  Many worms and viruses will be sent by such losers, pretending to be what they are not.  They will tell you to open an attachment, wherein a worm or virus is waiting to get out!  I recently got a message like this:

Your message below could not be delivered. Only members of that group may send e-mail to this account. The e-mail address from which you sent this message does not identify you as a group member.

If you are a member, you can check or change the e-mail address you 
registered with this group at your E-mail Settings page.

If you are not a member and would like to join this group, you can 
apply to join now.

To learn more about MSN Groups or for further assistance, please see 
our Help area.

Thanks,

MSN Groups

++++ Attachment: No Virus found

++++ Norman AntiVirus - www.norman.com

 

OH!  How tricky!  The worm/virus sender tried to trick me into thinking that there was "No Virus found".  Ha!  First of all, "Virus" should not be capitalized.  Secondly, that is NOT the proper place for virus checking.  Oh, the cunning!

Also, I never sent any e-mail message to the e-mail address mentioned in the subject.  PLUS, it was in my BULK MAIL FOLDER... that means that many people got similar messages from a mass-mailing system.  If it really was from MSN, it would have gone to my IN-BOX.

See what I mean, when I write that worm-and-virus senders are getting really tricky???

They are getting extremely cunning, to trick you into opening attachments.

By the way, there was an attachment, but I didn't open it.  Hell no!

 

6.  If you do not have a firewall nor anti-virus software, which is current, you should be aware that viruses can reside in ".doc" files.  That's why I won't open any ".doc" files.  ".rtf" and ".txt" files are okay (...for the time being, anyways). 

 

Writing of "files"... I just got an email message which had "Hello" written in the subject field.  Upon opening the e-mail, I found that nothing had been written in the body of the email.  There was only an attachment... an ".scr" file.  I have no idea what an ".scr" file is, and I don't really care to find out, because I'm dead certain it contains either a worm or a virus.

BEWARE!

 

Here is a collection of other DANGEROUS e-mail messages that I have received:

subject field hi
body of email you are a bad writer
attachment -.zip
from patrick@taylor.org
   
subject field info
body of email Instant patches
attachment masturbation.zip
from n/a
   
subject field Document
body of email Your file is attached.  In order to read the attach, you have to use the following password...
first attachment -.jpeg
second attachment -.zip
from hbsniki@hbscompany.com
   
subject field read it immediately
body of email i wait for a reply
attachment location.scr
from juliannore@hotmail.com
   
subject field stolen
body of email read the details
attachment mail2.zip
from loyshy@hotmail.com
   
subject field RE: does it?
body of email do you think so?
attachment website.exe
from jrobson17@cogeco.ca
   
subject field automatic responder
body of email here is the document
attachment information.zip
from vetdscrzqypxkblwo@acb1665f.ipt.aol.com
   
subject field RE: Delivery Server
body of email Please confirm my request.
++++ Attachment: No Virus found
++++ F-Secure AntiVirus
attachment readme.zip
from service@paypal.com
   
subject field dear
body of email your lie is going around the world!
attachment regards.zip
from personnel@escs.pl
   
subject field stolen
body of email what does it mean?
attachment concert.rtf.pif
from xavi_xurat@hotmail.com
   
subject field your face?
body of email is that your website?
attachment sexy.txt.exe
from david.li@lync.edu.cn
   
subject field Re: does it?
body of email never
attachment location_death.exe
from mselcuk@iname.com
   
subject field fake
body of email yes, really?
attachment bill.scr
from /29/2002-11-22/74@537748.htm
   
subject field hi
body of email docs/
attachment party.zip
from lordnaka@choncho.com
   
subject field Important
body of email Important!
attachment Part_2.zip
from achiang@cravath.com
   
subject field best?
body of email <null>
attachment naked.exe
from norrie@englishcentre.cz
   
subject field fake
body of email yes, really?
attachment found.zip
from lachewin@hotmail.com
   
subject field Your text
body of email Here is the file.
attachment your_text.pif
from whl@china-fire.com
   
subject field stolen
body of email you are a bad writer
attachment aboutyou.zip
from recruit@cooperlomaz.co.uk
   
subject field Notify
body of email Please authenticate the secure message. +++ Attachment: No Virus found +++ Panda AntiVirus
attachment message.zip
from mamags00@hotmail.co
   
subject field hello
body of email your name is wrong
attachment topseller.zip
from ffcz@21cn.com
   
subject field Message
body of email Your important document, correction is finished!
attachment attach_<myemail>.txt.pif
from pcgames@pconline.com.cn
   
subject field Test
body of email Protected message is attached.
attachment document.zip
from enquiries@languages-plus.co.uk
   
subject field hi
body of email misc
attachment website.scr
from jonpats@hotmail.com
   
subject field stolen
body of email read the details.
attachment part2.pif
from nidia.ortega@terra.es
   
subject field Re: Administration
body of email SMTP: Please confirm the attached message.
attachment document.zip
from mts@lebanon-online.com.l
   
subject field Re: secure SMTP message
body of email For further details see the attachment.
+++ Attachment: No Virus found
+++ Panda AntiVirus - www.pandasoftware.com
attachment details_<myemail>.zip
from info@avrupadilleri.com
   
subject field Re: hi
body of email Please read the important document.
attachment product.zip
from anne@pl.net
   
subject field Spamed?
body of email Are you a spammer? (I found your email on a spammer website!?!)
attachment abuse_list.pif
from bula@guoguang.com.cn
   
subject field Hokki=)
body of email Argh, i don't like the plaintext :)

password: 77764
attachment Info.zip
from ?
   
subject field Excel file
body of email See the attached file for details.
attachment document_excel.pif
from ja.dr@tiscali.cz
   
subject field read it immediately
body of email is that your domain?
attachment visa.exe
from mssupport@gbrands.com
   
subject field Your software
body of email Please have a look at the attached file.
attachment application.pif
from ppy96gusfz@vcnet.com
   
subject field Please read
body of email read the details
attachment details.zip
from uzg@hotmail.com
   
subject field [none]
body of email Details are in the attached document. You need Microsoft Office to open it.
attachment readme.zip
from lyp222@mail.china.co
   
subject field Server Error
body of email Mail Transaction Failed - This mail couldn't be converted
attachment mail6816.zip
from lauren_1992@hotmail.com
   

Most of the above had attachments containing ".zip" files.  ".zip" files are locked, and a special code is needed to "unlock" them.  Because they are "locked", they cannot be scanned, so when Yahoo or Hotmail reads:  "no virus found", it means it couldn't find a virus because it couldn't scan the attachment.  I wish I had known that before I got hit with a vicious worm.

Some of the above attachments had other kinds of files that I'm not familiar with, like ".pif" files and ".scr" files.  I don't think those contain viruses, but rather some kind of spy-ware or "mook"ware.

What is "mook-ware"?

The term: "mook" is a combination of "mooch" and "spook".

"Mooch" is a slang term for:  sb or sth which takes something from sb which is generally not given (and generally often).

"Spook" is a word for: ghost

So, mook-ware is software which you cannot "see", or which you don't know has been installed on your computer, and it "mooches" information, and/or "sets up shop" on your computer, by getting into your "cookies", and linking to various websites.  This is done to try and sell stuff, quite often pornography.

The ".exe" files are programs and if you open them, they WILL be installed on your computer.  They could be viruses, worms, spyware, or mookware.  Who knows, but the author?  I'm certainly not going to find out.

Okay... this is getting too tedious.  I'm getting hit with up to twenty spam, scam, or virus/worm-containing e-mails daily.  So, from now on, I'm just going to list the e-mail addresses of my nefarious foes:  NOTE:  the e-mail addresses below are of e-mail, wherein there was a link provided, and I was directed to click on the link for more information.  Most of them told me that my mail was undeliverable.  (BS!)  I advise you NOT to click on any links in e-mail messages, unless you are 100% sure it is from someone you trust.  Spyware can be automatically installed on your computer (as it has been mine), simply by clicking on a link.

Okay... you gotta see this!  This is an email that I received this month (June 2004).  Look at the date on this e-mail.  I'd sure like to know how they did that!  If you get e-mail like this DON'T click on the link provided, or you WILL be sorry.

 

From: bluegale66@163.com  Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book
To: my email address
Subject: Mail Delivery (failure my email address)
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2004 14:52:20 +0100
 

If the message will not displayed automatically,
follow the link to read the delivered message.

Received message is available at:
www.yahoo.com/inbox/myemail@address

 

BEWARE of misleading LINKS!!!

Let me teach you something about "html" links.

What is written as the name of the link, and what the link actually is may be two different things!  As in the above case.

"www.yahoo.com/inbox/myemailaddress" was written, but I checked out the actual link... it was to a totally different website, one which could contain some spyware, or a worm or virus.

If you click on the link just above, I have it changed it to go to my home page.

The link above is SAFE.  While is says "www.yahoo.com......" it is actually linked to my home page.

The point here is to show you that links are NOT always what they appear to be.

HINT:  Here is a way to check the links BEFORE you click.  Just position the cursor above the link, WITHOUT clicking.  You should see the REAL link in the bottom left-hand corner of browser (unless someone has turned-off that particular function).

IF you are using Mozilla Firefox, and if your "status bar" is not showing (at the very bottom of the browser), here's what you do:

1.  Make sure a browser is open (which it should be, otherwise you couldn't be viewing this webpage).
2.  Click on "View" at the top of your browser.  A drop-down menu will appear.
3.  Click on "Status bar".
4.  That's it!  You're done!  Now trying positioning the mouse-cursor over a link.  See what happens!

 

 


Helpful Link:

http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/computer/default.mspx

 

 

 

 

 

 


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