Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Top Email Scams: Free WalGreens Certificate, Home Depot, even Google!

Ahoy from Amoy!

I get lots of SPAM and Phishing Attempts but the last two weeks they've really gone through the roof--especially political scams like the one asking me to Donate $35 to Trump to get a Presidential Black Guard and be a member of the Elite. [For only $35!?]

Below is a screen capture of less 40+ scams (less than one day). The biggest scams these few days (I receive main variations, daily, of these) are
1. Fidelity Life Insurance: Rate Drop: Quarter of a Million Dollars Coverage for a  Buck Approved for you as ....
2. Change you life, get Lasik! (Give them your credit card info for appointment to get very cheap surgery).
3. Considered Senior Housing? Consider your options! (Seniors, sadly, are gullible and vulnerable).
4 Your name was selected for a $5 Walgreen's charge card (many each day).
5. Warning! Were you informed that your creditworthiness could have gone up beyond 580 points?
6. Order confirmation! Dear, your customer, Mr. Faisal.... (this works because those who are cheated are open to cheat the person whom they think got their email by mistake).
7. Heads up! Were you informed that your creditworthiness could have risen past 720 points this month?   In case that doesn't work, they follow it with...
Spam Phishing Lasik Fidelity Life Insurance Walgreens Card Home Depot Roofing Albert Heijn Senior Living  Most Common email scams8. NOTICE: Did you know that your ability to obtain credit could have dropped beyond 620 points...
9. Surprise voucher in the mail!
10. Walgreens, Fidelity, Lasik, CenterParcs, Nespresso, etc.....

The Screen Capture of my SPAM folder shows scams received just the past day!

I keep reporting the Phishing to Google but they're evidently ignoring it--just like the FTC has ignored my dutifully filed reports of phone scammers claiming to be Dell Computer and having noticed my computer is being attacked. It's pretty convincing; they know my name and my kind of computer, and I never received such calls until I bought a Dell Computer--and within a year I received over 600 fake Dell calls! (I contacted Dell and they said it was scamming--duh--but have obviously done nothing about it).

But many people are people fooled by such phone scams and email scams and phishing; if there wasn't a lot of money in it, it would stop.

So just a reminder--if you receive an email even from a company you know offering to save you money or give you anything free-do not reply! If you are at all curious, look up the phone number from you records (or use the one on your credit card)--never use the phone number in the email--and phone to ask if it is legitimate. No reputable company will ever send an email or phone you out of the blue and ask for private information.

Just today, I received these amazing email offers!:

Congratulations! As a valued Walgreens customer, we have selected you for a $50 gift certificate! (I never received these until I started paying for my mother-in-laws medicine with a Visa at Walgreens; now I get a dozen a day. Walgreens insists of course there is no connection)


Click Here for a Free Credit Check! Of course, to get that check you give them your private information--everything from social security number to age, date of birth, height, weight and shoe size.

I've also received a dozen or more scam emails from some foreign site (Netherlands?) called CenterParcs, and many from Nespresso and Home Depot.

Home Depot Roofing Scam? Several emails a day from Home Depot saying the roofer needs to visit my home again. I've never had a roofer from anywhere to my home. And not surprisingly, I never received a Home Depot scam until after I opened an online Home Depot account. Is there a pattern here? Yes, they may have hacked my email to see what companies I work with, but I doubt that because I have 2-level email security (even I can't get in myself sometimes!).

Google Annual Promotion: I won £950,000.00! Even as I was writing this, I received this email:
Google is now the biggest search engine worldwide and in an effort to make sure that it remains the most widely used search engine, we ran an online e-mail beta draw which your email address won Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling (£950,000.00).

Winning Notification! You have won the UK-Lotto Sweepstakes Lottery! Click Here for your millions... Immediate Line of Credit Guaranteed!!! (Never trust anyone, not even your mother, who uses multiple exclamation marks. Even on is bad enough!!!).

You are approved for XX Credit Card with a billion dollar credit limit!

You are the Beneficiary of a 50 million dollar estate! Greetings from Nigeria, our solicitor, John Whittlebottom Esq., has determined that you are the sole surviving relative of Edna Withersfork, the heiress of a vast diamond fortune in Swoozyland.

GREETINGS MY DEAR, in the Name of God (this does get some off guard but the use of "all capitals" is as much of a tip-off as the use of multiple exclamation marks!!! ). My husband, Monobutama Haseem a rocket scientist in Mobumbo, just passed away and I am asking good honest people like you to take part of his multi-million fortune, asking only that you donate the proceeds to worthwhile charities. You may, of course, keep a small percentage of the millions for your trouble. Please send me your name, address, bank information number, and the contact number for your psychiatrist because anyone stupid enough to believe this needs a shrink. (But this scam works--and it works because of people's greed and lust to get something for nothing. As Confucius might have said, "If a diamond ring only costs ten cents, it's probably only worth a dime."

Subject: Career Opportunity from Globalfinances Group! We are looking for reliable people like you to represent us... You can work from home... make thousands per month....

Subject: You won a cruise! You have just won a cruise for two in Europe. This cruise, valued at USD 8,730, is yours because...

The sheer creativeness and ingenuity is astonishing. If these people put their efforts and energy to worthwhile causes, they could earn a decent living, solve world hunger, end wars and usher in a new millennium. Okay, maybe just make a decent living, but that's not bad in this day and age when people are making less money but battered by media and unSocial media to keep up with the Kardashians (who are famous only for being famous). But modern marketing and Consumerism is a socially accepted scam worse than everything else. (How is it that no one minds that their role in life is to be nothing more than a mindless Consumer?).

I think legitimate business, marketers and media could teach Scammers and Phishers a thing or two.

And in that vein... if you think us consumers are dumb, well so are businesses. Billions have been lost the past year from the "Bogus Boss" scam! Someone sends an email to an employee claiming to be the boss and telling them to immediately transfer company funds to another account... "I'll explain later." The harried employee does it--and they lose their head.

And with that in mind, I'm going to click now on the exciting notification that I have just won millions of dollars from the Google Annual Promotion so I too can keep up with every other  Tom, Dick and Harry (or Tang, Ding and Hong, as the case may be here).

Just for fun, I'm going to jot down all of the Scams I receive in 24 hours and later I'll add them below. But I have to run because I just got an email from Susan Marie telling me to transfer half of our retirement account to an offshore account to pay her hairdresser.

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"
www.amoymagic.com

Bill Brown Xiamen University www.amoymagic.com

1 comment:

Ben said...

Great to see Fujian covered, not a lot of people seem to know the province still to this day! Its one of the guides on teaching English in China would you recommend it as a place to TEFL?