Yet another variant of the Microsoft scam

AS I previously reported, the nasty pasties have moved on from claiming to be Microsoft and are now dreaming up business names all for themselves. “Quantum PC Solutions” is one of the better ones I’ve heard recently.

Unfortunately, the call I just received was not one of those imaginative folk.

The call came in from “Computer Maintenance Department” (told you it was shit) who gave me the usual spiel about my computer getting infected every time I “go online” or send an email.

HA ha, thought I, I know your game matey. I’m going to string you along for a bit. Anyway, I was expecting him to go the usual “type infjunk into the run box” route that they have used in the past;

BUT NO!

“Please type e.v.e.n.t.v.w.r into your run box.”

HANG ON! event viewer? He’s gone off script, I thought to myself. But alas, he got right back on again telling me that the perfectly normal files were viruses etc. Luckily they had a “crisis team” (I know, crisis team – I imagined ninjas sitting in black van waiting to roundhouse my computer!!) anyway, the “crisis team” were ready and waiting to fix the pesky files.

Here’s the thing, he actually gave me an address to go to, usually they figure me for someone who knows what they’re talking about and hang up long before then! He told me to go to http://www.cts247.com. At which point, expecting I could go no further without him actually gaining acces to my hard drive, I asked him who was the registered owner of that URL was as the AFP would probably like to know when I report this call and URL to them! He hung up! Chicken!

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I checked out the Website afterwards and it look like this! Certified      by who? Not any board I’ve ever heard of, or that actually exists!

So, all my lovely debunkers out there, remember do not  EVEREVEREVER log into a website using “logmein” unless you have  initiated the call and trust the company you’re talking to.

CGT

Computer Hacker Phone Scam

Hot on the heels of the Microsoft call centre phone scam comes the dangerous files on your PC scam.

I’ve actually had three of these phone calls in the last few days (you’ll find a list of the phone numbers they’ve used below).

The last time I refrained from telling them who I was and what I do (and generally abusing them) to see how far into their scam I could get and how they went about it. Here’s the result;

I got the call from some woman who claimed to be from Quantum PC Solutions (bogus company). Her spiel went along the lines of, (I’m paraphrasing, I only managed to understand half of what she said!)

“Did you know that just by surfing the Web your computer can get clogged up with files and if you don’t delete them your computer will be slowed down.”

She then instructed me to hit “windows key + R” – this opens the Run command box

She then told me to type in “inf junk” into the box. On doing this the inf folder is opened and there are (usually) many files and folders in there. The caller told me (incorrectly) that these files were slowing my PC and could potentially harm the security of my computer (LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE!) Here’s Microsoft’s version of what is in the inf folder;

What is an INF file?
Microsoft Windows drivers must have an information (INF) file in order to be installed. An INF file is a text file that contains all the information that the Setup components must have in order to install a driver. This information includes the following:

Driver name and location
Driver version information
Registry information
Windows INF files do not contain installation scripts. The installation procedures are part of a Microsoft Win32 installer application, such as the New Device Wizard and the Add Hardware Wizard, with each INF file acting as a resource.

Deleting these files may cause issues with some of your hardware or cause problems installing new hardware.

Regardless, I made some noises about, “how I didn’t realise that,” and, “how do I get rid of them.”  At which point she told me that, for a small fee (naturally), her company could fix the problem for me. I was put on “hold” and “transferred” to the “support department”. (I put those things in mittens because the silly woman forgot to mute her phone and I heard everything she said to the person sitting next to her as she passed the phone across!)

This is where the story ends – They told me to go to “logmein.com” and that’s when I had to ‘fess up that I was onto them and asked her if she thought that what they were doing to people was fair- and she hung up promptly.

You see, LogMeIn.com is a legit site that allows you (or anyone with log in details) remote access to your PC. As soon as they have access these nasty pasties will, I assume, plant all kinds of adware, keystroke logs or trojans to get access to your passwords and such like.

The Phone Numbers that I’ve received these calls from; (In Australia)

(02) 8002 4760  |  (07) 5512 3276

I have heard from friends overseas that the same scam is operating – If you get a call, list the number in the comments.

Please don’t ever download anything from random callers.

CGT

The buy one get one free – can’t believe your luck SUPER SALE!

I have to say the fact that is still doing rounds surprised (dismays) me and I’m not surprised by much these days!

I figured everyone must have heard the, “guy wakes up in ice bath”  kidney theft hoax by now surely? It’s been going since 1997 (as far as I cared to trace it back). Apparently not. This showed up on a friend of a friends Facebook page FOUR DAYS ago.

kidneys I wasn’t even going to bother mentioning it but then I read it and two things that made me smile;

The First Thing That Made Me Smile.

The author of the first post stresses that this is a TRUE STORY which is CONFIRMED by the simple fact that the phone number is real. Good-O. I’ve got one for you, check this out:

“BREAKING NEWS: Popular BBC television show,  Doctor Who was revealed today to not be a fiction at all  but in fact a documentary following the true life of  a Time Lord from Gallifrey. 

Please contact the BBC for more information on: 020 7765 1064. “

MUST BE TRUE – The phone number is real!

This started as an EMAIL hoax, it is that old! It’s done the rounds of hundreds of cities in many countries around the globe. This particular Australian version that has found it’s way onto Facebook  (complete with the same name AND phone number),  has been around since at least 2006.  I’m not sure how else to put it. IT IS TOTALLY UNTRUE.

oh and another thing ……

“The story is not medically plausible because a kidney from a random stranger would not be suitable to most transplant patients and a hotel room is not sufficiently sterile for such an operation to be viable. In April 2000 the National Kidney Foundation issued a public statement denouncing the report as an “urban myth run amok”.” joewein.de

But these hoaxes are not done there, oh no!

The Second Thing That Made Me Smile

If you were born with an intelligence even slightly above that of your average potato and spot the oldest hoax in the book there is a second “story” to get you thinking. It goes a little something like this ……….

Another story…..

I was approached yesterday afternoon around 3.30 pm in the Coles Parking lot at Noranda by two males, asking what kind of perfume I was wearing. Then they asked if I’d like to sample some fabulous scent they were willing to sell me at a very reasonable rate. I probably would have agreed had I not received an email some weeks go, warning of this scam. The men continued to stand between parked cars, I guess to wait for someone else to hit on. I stopped a lady going towards them, I pointed at them and told her about how I was sent an email at work about someone walking up to you at the malls, in parking lots, and asking you to sniff perfume that they are selling at a cheap price.

THIS IS NOT PERFUME – IT IS ETHER!

When you sniff it, you’ll pass out and they’ll take your wallet, your valuables, and heaven knows what else. If it were not for this email, I probably would have sniffed the ‘perfume’, but thanks to the generosity of an emailing friend, I was spared whatever might have happened to me, and wanted to do the same for you. These guys hit Sydney and Melbourne 2 weeks ago and now they are doing it in Perth and Queensland …

IF YOU ARE HUMAN AND RECEIVE THIS PLEASE PASS IT ON TO ALL THE WOMEN (EVERYONE) YOU KNOW!!!

I am human – I’m a smart human (smart enough to know that you meant “every one” and not “everyone”) but no I shall not be passing it on to ANYONE or indeed, any one of the women that I know.

Again, this has been around for donkeys years (anyone know the origin of that phrase?) in many different places. Hoax-Slayer has a pretty good list of occurrences but it ranges from ASDA and Tesco in the UK to New Zealand and a petrol station in Belfast.

So there you have it. A buy one get one free hoaxes that have, for a long old time, been denied but now are officially

DEBUNKED!

CGT

Are the scammers reading SMD?

…… well it would appear that they are!

After numerous posts where I questioned the sanity of trying to scam Facebook users by “giving away” hundreds of “prizes” this page popped up with a quite believable twelve laptops to give away (See the highlighted passage).15-05-2013-8-50-01-AM

Also there is no ridiculous reason for the give away as previously seen  in likewhore scams of this ilk such as, “we can’t sell them because they are unsealed.” This is also something that I have highlighted in several posts as signs of a con.

So the scammers are clearly reading the page (I feel so special – *waves “hi” to the scammers)

The clues to the scam are still there however, the page has only been open for a few days and this was the first, and only, post. True to form, as of this morning the account has disappeared. WHAT? before the July 1st prize draw date?  Naw shucks!

What I really found AMAZING about this is the person right at the bottom (under the arrow) who comments “Sounds like a scam to harvest FB users accounts. Prove me wrong.”  – BA BOW, unlucky chuamp. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s not likely to be an elephant.

I really can’t stress enough the importance of having a close look at these prize give away pages before “liking” or “sharing” anything. It only takes two seconds to visit the page and check out how long the page has been operating and how many posts they’ve made. Chances are; not very long and not very many.

Message from Zuckerberg Re: Facebook Video ads

fb-adsI like this, it shows that the nasty pasties are getting cunning!

The message is supposed to be from Mark Zuckerberg “informing” Facebook users that Facebook is, “looking into  playing video ads as a way to increase the profitability of Facebook….”  BUT if enough people share the message they wont bring in the video ads AT ALL.

OH PUHHHLEASE.

Firstly – AS IF a corporation would  release such a negatively worded introduction for something that they are doing: “These ads will stop what you are doing every ten mintues….” Have you never seen a commercial? They go like this, (as I write this I was just gifted an example from some boofhead telemarketer!) “Great news! I’m calling from Energy Australia (CULPRITS!) you have been selected for a discount on your gas and electricity bill” Really? that’s funny, you don’t supply my house with either of those things? “You are eligible for a minimum 20% discount on your gas and electricity!” erm ….. we don’t have gas and you aren’t my provider how come I’m entitled to a discount. “Ahh you are eligible for a discount” CLICK Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Secondly – If all the reports are even close to the mark Facebook stand to make $4 Million dollars A DAY from these ads, you really think they’re going to give that up just because we don’t like the idea?

Anyway, on to why I like this so much ….. well because, as far as scams go, this is a good one. It has enough truth in it comes across as plausible and lots of people will get sucked in.

Facebook are indeed going to start video ads, as early as next month if we’re to believe the FT, but unlike “Zuck’s” post suggests Phillipa Warr from wired.co.uk  reckons that they will indeed autoplay but MUTED (only having sound if the user chooses) and only in the user’s newsfeed, just like current “suggested posts”. Seems to me then that these ads will be as easily ignored as video ads on certain newspaper Websites, and contrary to “Zuck” the ads will be short, as Evan LePage says, “the advertisements will reportedly be limited to 15 seconds. Facebook will also work to ensure that only one video per brand will show up in your newsfeed on any given day. ” On top of this Cotton Delo of adage.com contradicts “Zuck” on the frequency of the ads saying that the frequency will be, “….capped to ensure that no user sees more than three per day”.

Kudos to the scammers for this one. It could nearly be true. Unfortunately Facebook has, as yet, declined to offer comment on video ads or how much cash they’ll be rolling in when they start appearing.

Video ads ARE coming but nevertheless this message is ……

DEBUNKED :)

Thanks to Kim for passing this one on ;)

CG-T

PS Energy Australia – YOU SUCK!

Really? Still with the Ridiculous Giveaways?

ImageWe’d hoped that most people were wise to this obvious scam, but alas it seems not.

Nearly THREE THOUSAND people have opened up their page and the pages of all of their friends to interweb nasty pasties and all their nasty little programs.

Come on folks – think about what they are saying and apply some  common sense before you go liking or sharing these obviously bogus pages.

What kind of business can afford to give away 2,839 brand new phones just because they are unsealed? Ebay is FULL of unsealed and second hand phones – do you REALLY think that they have no other alternative than to give them away??

 

Debunked, debunked and thrice debunked!

 

ATTENTION girls AND ladies, are “gangs” getting smarter?

new-gangNope, and neither are some FB users.

This one was lovingly sent in from the pages of Kerry.

We’ve had empty baby seats left in the road, eggs and rocks thrown at car windscreens  and now crying little boys with nothing other than an address on a bit of paper.

Seriously?

Talk about far fetched! This warning doesn’t contain enough detail to be legit. It doesn’t even say what country these supposed “attacks” took place in, there are no details to speak of at all in fact. Combined with a dubious use of English; this one is a straightforward BA BOW!

Please apply some common sense before blindly re-posting these ridiculous warnings.

DEBUNKED

Are hackers posting porn on your FB page without your knowledge?

This one bent my brain a little but thanks to Kellee on FB for forwarding this one to us.

It appears that there is a hint of truth in this one. It goes back to 2011 when this first reared it’s head. It was initially reported as a hoax  but after many users continued to report posts like this it was looked into again.

Basically, back in 2011 nasty pasty hackers were getting access to unwitting users accounts by tricking them into cut/paste an internet code called Javascript into their browsers which then allowed the hackers to control the site that the user was interacting with. I want to say here in red & bold because it’s serious;

Do not ever, EVER! cut and paste any kind of code from Webpages or FB pages into your Web browser.

They will try to trick you by offering prizes or the chance to see “some celebrity doing something video/images”; there is no such prize or video;

Do not ever, EVER! EVER! cut and paste any kind of code from Webpages or FB pages into your Web browser.

Anywho, back to the story; It transpires that once the hacker had control of your FB account they posted (fake) images of Bieber (why do they always use this annoying midget??) engaging in some hardcore man love and naked grannies and so on, onto your wall.

Rumours surrounding this attack were linked to various groups like Anonymous back in 2011, but were never confirmed.

Facebook got onto the problem and found the security problem was with certain Web browsers (I’m not saying that IE was a culprit – because I don’t know that for sure – but I BET you that it was!)  and released a statement saying,

“Protecting the people who use Facebook from spam and malicious content is a top priority for us, and we are always working to improve our systems to isolate and remove material that violates our terms. Recently, we experienced a coordinated spam attack that exploited a browser vulnerability. Our efforts have drastically limited the damage caused by this attack, and we are now in the process of investigating to identify those responsible.

During this spam attack users were tricked into pasting and executing malicious javascript in their browser URL bar causing them to unknowingly share this offensive content. Our engineers have been working diligently on this self-XSS vulnerability in the browser. We’ve built enforcement mechanisms to quickly shut down the malicious Pages and accounts that attempt to exploit it. We have also been putting those affected through educational checkpoints so they know how to protect themselves. We’ve put in place backend measures to reduce the rate of these attacks and will continue to iterate on our defenses to find new ways to protect people.”

Which basically means that they found the main problem was with certain browsers but fixed it from their end.

NOTE: The issue with browsers has since been fixed and security updates have been sent: another reason you should always keep your browser updated.

NOW …… That is the end of the history lesson.

The current warning that is circulating FB (an example is pictured but we’ve seen a few other versions) is more than likely a fake, a simple scam by 484757_567934649904281_1533185397_nlikewhores to increase the reputation of their page.

My advice; instead of spreading this message and potentially furthering the cause of those who only want to mess up the joint, protect your account from these attacks. NEVER cut/paste code into your browser (I may have mentioned that previously!), ALWAYS  keep your browser updated, NEVER install unknown apps that request to “post on your behalf” and uninstall any apps that do have permission, NEVER get sucked into clicking on the “OMG you wont believe it” video links and finally, if you do see something that looks sus, report it to Facebook and the friend in question so that they can secure their account.

Happy internetting!