Just how stupid do I look, anyway?

Um, don't answer that.

When I got the house, I sprang for broadband; however, being a belt-and-suspenders sort of guy, I retained one of my old dialup accounts, for backup and for traveling purposes. (I don't believe that we're at the point where I can rely on Wi-Fi wherever I might wander on a World Tour, and I refuse to blog from my cell phone.) For some reason, attempts to swipe my dialup access, and perhaps by extension my identity, have picked up lately.

The first try came on 20 December, with the following message (encoded so it could not be read in the source):

Dear [name of ISP] valued customer,

We regret to inform you, that we were unable to charge your card. This maybe due to our payment processing failure, billing system overload, invalid card number, exp date, daily limit, insufficient funds, or other reasons. We need you to re-enter valid payment and verification information.

Click here to continue payment verification process - [link to what was represented as an official ISP site]

Your information will be submitted via a secure server. [name of ISP] keeps all of your contact and billing information confidential and private.

Not the most obvious scam in the book, but one I'm not about to fall for; I duly reported this to the Department of Scams at the ISP. Curiously, there was a Return-Path left in the mail header: <Paulinus_Pradip@gte.net>. (Of course, gte.net is not the ISP in question.) Whoever sent this was using The Bat!, version 1.61, as a mail client. Then yesterday, there was this:

Dear [name of ISP] valued customer,

We have noticed that an un-authorized access attempt was made to your account at www.nameofisp.com. Our security software has blocked access from the intruder to your account, but the un-authorized user's attempt managed to replace the password on your account.

The password has been restored for mail and internet access, however the intruder may still be able to get access to your account and or any personal information that you might have used with your account.

To avoid further problems with your account such as credit-card number, or personal information loss we advise you to replace the password to your account as soon as possible.

*To change your password, click the button below.
[link to what was represented as an official ISP site]

[name of ISP] has no responsibility or liability if your information is lost or stolen if you decide to leave your password the same or elect not to change it per our request.

Not the most obvious scam in the book, but one I'm not about to fall for. Curiously, there was a Return-Path left in the mail header: <Luella_Farhan@bellsouth.net>. (Of course, bellsouth.net is not the ISP in question.) Whoever sent this was using The Bat!, version 1.61, as a mail client.

Come on, people. Get your own freaking passwords. It's a safe bet it's too much to expect you to get a life.

The Vent

#372
9 January 2004

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