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  • A scam caught me…

    Posted on dturnidge Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Code Red – Security/Privacy advisories A scam caught me…

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      • #2298593 Reply
        dturnidge
        AskWoody Plus

        This is a post I made on FB and thought it might be beneficial here:

        On August 25, 2020, I got the following email:
        —-
        On Tue, Aug 25, 2020, 1:17 PM Mxxxx Cxxxxx Gxxxx <email@comcast.net> wrote:
        Do you have an account with Amazon?
        Love, Mxxxx
        Sent from my iPhone
        —-
        This was from a classmate that I trust – (and still trust) … but it WASN’T her.
        I replied that I did have an Amazon account – but didn’t notice that the email address that my reply went to WASN’T her email – it was different by 1 letter…
        This led to a follow-up email from the WRONG email address with a request to purchase cash cards for her because there was a problem with her checking account, and she needed to get these cards to a friend who was going through a hard time and wanted to be able to get them to her for her birthday – TODAY.
        This is what was written:
        —-
        I’ve been trying to purchase a $200 E-Gift card by email, but it says they are having issues charging my card. I contacted my bank and they told me it would take a couple of days to get it sorted. I intend to buy it for a friend of mine who’s having her birthday tomorrow. Can you purchase it from your end for me, I ‘ll refund it to you once my bank sorts the issue out. Let me know so i can send you her email.
        —-
        I followed the instructions BECAUSE OF WHO I THOUGHT I WAS COMMUNICATING WITH!
        The reason for this posting is because I got an email from someone who had visited our church in the past…with the same initial request about having an Amazon account.
        DON’T do what I did.

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2298986 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        It can happen to anyone. However rarely, now and then one let’s one’s guard down, either because of being too busy, or too preoccupied with something quite unrelated to safe email handling, or something one ate the previous night…

        Your email and hers have been “harvested” from some data base(s) not very well protected against such intrusions (which now also seems to be happening all the time). .. and there you are. I hope you have good antimalware and have scanned with it your PC and, or cell-phone looking for some nasty bug that might have come in. The potential damage to you is that you have confirmed your email and your existence to those scammers and now they are on to you. Good luck.

        Probably a good idea for your friend to get in touch with Amazon. Here is their customer service hotline: +1 206-922-0880 , and their live chat support:

        https://www.amazon.com/Live-Chat/s?k=Live+Chat

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by OscarCP.
        • #2300571 Reply
          dturnidge
          AskWoody Plus

          Thank you. I definitely got in touch with Amazon…because they got in touch with me and locked my account!! THANK YOU AMAZON!! Kept it from being worse than it was. Password changed, and (I think) all is well.

      • #2299552 Reply
        plodr
        AskWoody Plus

        Here’s a good response, even if the email is from someone you know.

        Call your friend with the upcoming birthday and tell him or her that you’ll be sending a belated present. You can’t get out right now because of Covid 19. Any good friend will understand!

         

        We get calls from our “grandson” all the time. Since we have no children, we certainly don’t have any grandchildren. I play along and respond, “You are a rotten grandson. Don’t bother me. Call your rich father and ask for a handout.” Then I hang up.

        Got coffee?

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2300573 Reply
          dturnidge
          AskWoody Plus

          (hehe) It wasn’t “MY” friend’s birthday – but the bogus friend’s friend… I didn’t have any actual contact information for THAT “friend”…

          Thank you!

      • #2299576 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I had something like that almost happen to me, but I knew it was phishing and didn’t bite.  But I have a question.  I know that the scam artists got my friend’s email address from some data base, but how, then, did they get my friend’s contacts so they know where to send the email?

        • #2299582 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          ? says:

          just a guess, maybe the email provider(s) (lose) such data? probably never happens, though…

        • #2299656 Reply
          KB6OJS
          AskWoody Plus

          Find someone on social media where their email address is visible, look at their friends list if it’s visible, and then start searching Google for information about those friends.  Sooner or later you’re bound to get a hit with an email address.  It’s not hard.

        • #2300574 Reply
          dturnidge
          AskWoody Plus

          They actually got my (and many other) email address from my friend’s email account. Others (apparently smarter than me) were also scammed – but didn’t bite!

      • #2299654 Reply
        KB6OJS
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve come very close to falling for this once, but fortunately I dodged the bullet.  If this was done on a mobile OS it’s hard to “mouse over” on the address to see what it really is underneath, whereas on an OS like Windows or Mac it’s not only easy but pretty much mandatory nowadays to do so.

        This kind of “social hacking” can possibly be beaten, though.  If you get something like this, ask the “old friend” some questions that only s/he would know, or ask about another old friend who doesn’t really exist, and see what comes back.  If the “old friend” is fine, just saw him or her last week or something, you’ve got your answer.

        I get calls from friends and family members all the time about these things.  I guess even though I’m a “retired” IT manager, I’ll never truly be “retired…”

        //Steve//

      • #2299671 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        On a phone, start to forward a suspicious message and the address it came from will show up in the text so you will know what it is then delete the forward.  This is good for a laugh with obvious phishing messages.

        Howard

      • #2299789 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        If this was done on a mobile OS it’s hard to “mouse over” on the address to see what it really is underneath,

        Long press on the email address and select copy emal address, and open a new note or text file and paste it there for a closer look.

        Also never reply because doing so will conferm your email address.

        All the best

      • #2299868 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Note: Here I explain how I proceed when I get some of the usual telephone call scam attempts. I posted this comment a day ago and disappeared yesterday. I sent a copy to Woody, because I was not sure of what happened and he advised me to post it again.  So here is it, once more:

        Much of the time I keep my landline phone disconnected–with the connection literally unplugged “off the wall” so as not get frequently interrupted by robocalls, or waken up at some ungodly hour by one of them. I check the voicemail recordings once every other day or so, as I communicate mostly online these days.

        Most of the calls come from incredibly long numbers and when I listen to the recordings all I get is silence followed by a message that the caller has hanged up, then I delete the silent recording and move on to the next. In a “good” day there may be three or four like that. More rarely there is an actual voice message telling me that MS has found a problem with my computer, or that someone is initiating legal action against me… You know: the usual. And even more rarely a message from a real person whose voice I recognize calling to pass on something I should be aware of, or asking me to give them a call to their office or home number, which I already have.

        Occasionally I get one of those calls with extremely long numbers when my phone is plugged in, because I am waiting for a real call. I pick up the handset, listen to the silence for a while, and then go: “Yes.” And there it comes: “Hello! Is this Oscar?”  “Who are you?” “Oh! Right! I am Mindy from your insurance company and I am calling you because there is a problem with your records and…” “Click.” Then, depending on how I feel about this, I might make a call to my insurance company, to see if there is a problem with my records; but probably won’t.

        So what’s the deal with those very long numbers? Why so long? Are these messages coming from some aliens stationed on the far side of the Moon? And if they do, how do they get through the Moon to come out in the near side and from there fly to my landline phone? Could it be the extraterrestrials are using some very advanced technology based on, oh, I don’t know, maybe modulated neutrino beams? Can anyone here explain this?

        Woody also has told me those long phone numbers are probably from calls made from another country.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2300020 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          Never say the word, “yes,” on any call that you suspect may be a robocall, or when it’s a live person that you know is a telemarketer.  Sometimes they’re recording things and will use that spoken “yes” when impersonating you on another call so that it sounds like your voice consenting to something or another when in fact it isn’t you at all.  Instead, answer a dead quiet line with “hello” or something equally benign, or if they ask a yes-or-no question I try to remember to ask “why do you ask?” or something equally non-yessy… I’m trying to train myself not to do that, but it’s very difficult to break years of habit.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2302052 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          OscarCP,

          Spoofed numbers are common, which is why I only block them if they have called 3 times without leaving a message.  Ever gotten a call from the phone you are using to receive the call.  😀

          By long numbers, are you talking about a number that starts off with a V and is 15 characters long?  Here is an example and breakdown.

          V42711291000043

          VMDDHHMMSS#####

          V = V dialer

          MDD HHMMSS (based on caller’s time)
          ##### = their V dialer number.
          Even if the phone number is different this number can be the same.

      • #2299892 Reply
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        Don’t say “yes” to these spoofs – it can be recorded & inserted into whatever “agreement” they want – Say “hello” or “I understand,” etc. (Hard to break the habit, though.)

        Zig

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2299986 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Zig, Thanks. Very good point.

          Today got another mystery message such that it has boggled my mind so badly it fell down and now is having trouble getting up from the floor.

          I was checking my voice mail. There were three messages waiting there, since yesterday and one from today. The first three were of the silent type I have already described. But the fourth!

          After a short silence I heard this message left by a woman: “Hi, I am so and so. I am presently unable to come to the phone. Please leave a message after the tone.”

          Has the Singularity just happened and this is some kind of post-Singularity scam?

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2300015 Reply
        Zaphyrus
        AskWoody Lounger

         
        Have I Been Pwned
        I recommend this website, it let you know if your email was  leaked.

        enter your email and it will tell you which sites had emails leaks

         

        Just someone who don't want Windows to mess with its computer.
        • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Zaphyrus.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
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