Archive for Scams and Spams

One apple, polished

This one uses the time-honored Butter Up the Webmaster technique:

Excellent goods from you, man. I have bear in mind your stuff previous to and you are just too excellent. I really like what you’ve bought right here, really like what you are saying and the way in which through which you assert it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it smart. I can not wait to learn much more from you.

This is really a tremendous site.

Tremendous, it is. And I do work at staying it smart.

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Vamp and revamp

I suspect anyone who’s run a blog for more than a week and a half has received stuff like this:

I got a spam email from a dude the other day who told me how great my blog was. Then he offered to write it for me. I guess his message was “you are good, but I am better”. If this drivel was written by someone else, it wouldn’t be my blog anymore, would it?

I fully acknowledge that better writing would help the place. It might drive up readership. An editor would be a significant improvement. While we are at it, a template change and pruning of the blogroll would spruce the place up too. A pay raise for the writing and custodial staff would improve morale. Perhaps new iPads and laptops for the research department are in order. How about pretzels and cold beer TGIF parties?

But no, what they really want you to do is to download some highly-dubious utilities. Or worse.

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Bank account stripped

I have no idea what, or how much, else:

A fraudster who met her victim on a dating website for naturists scammed him out of £50,000.

Moira Etchells, 45, met Ian Chatting-Tonks in 2013 and persuaded him to lend her the cash to start a business artificially inseminating cows.

Swansea Crown Court heard she spent £35,000 on a new Land Rover and banked the rest.

Etchells, of Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, admitted fraud and got an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years.

Which doesn’t sound like too much of a sentence, but she did sell the vehicle and pay back the amount she scammed.

The court was told Etchells had underlying bipolar effective disorder and her condition led to her making “fanciful” claims.

“I have found this case truly bizarre,” said Judge Geraint Walters.

One wonders if this case would have gotten coverage from the BBC had the participants been clothed. Maybe the artificial-insemination angle might have done it.

Comments




But I repeat myself

First spam, 11:03 am Sunday:

Hi there i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere, when i read this post i thought i could also make comment due to this good paragraph.

Second spam, two hours later:

Hey there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

Now obviously these “people” are lying like a rug. But they both came from the same IP address: 45.72.73.31. And they’re both linking to the same YouTube video:

That’ll be 0.4 BTC from each of you, due within 15 days.

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Geeks bearing GIFs

Actually, this claims to be a JPEG rather than a GIF, but either way, it looks remarkably untrustworthy:

Alleged link from Backphoto

The actual link, as sent, does contain the string “DCIM_36821,” but it’s not a JPEG. Go figure.

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Filter spectre

Smart spam filters, it appears, are barely brighter than dumb spam filters:

FastMail says once its system has learned 200 spams and 200 not-spams to my account, a personal spam filtering algorithm based on that learning will go into effect. In the almost two months I’ve been using FastMail it’s learned thousands of not-spams; the number of spams it claims to have learned is … 27. At this rate I’ll have my personal spam filter in time for the 2020 election cycle. I can only hope the educational process picks up steam between now and Boxing Day.

But that’s the thing about all the variations on the theme of artificial intelligence: they may not be particularly intelligent, but they’re practically guaranteed to be artificial.

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A miner for a heart of greed

This is, I suspect, extremely dubious:

And you have to figure, Swift has seen them all, or at least most of them.

At this writing, 0.087 BTC was worth a hair over six hundred dollars.

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Someone stole your iPhone

Um, I don’t have an iPhone. You don’t suppose this could be a … a SCAM?

Bogus warning not actually from Apple

Besides, a real message from Apple would likely be written in a less incompetent version of English. “You should complete some personal informations on our help center,” indeed. The link in the box goes to managementsupportteam.com, which you may safely assume is not about to support your management.

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Let us write for you

I suspect anyone who’s survived 180 days of blogging is now subject to this little inconvenience:

I received a guest post spam email a few months ago from someone who was very eager to write a post for this site. The person introduced herself as “a pioneer in online wholesale business.” In fact, she claimed to have “over 50 years experience in wholesale business.”

That was the first red flag.

She said she was “impressed by most of the posts/content” and added a little emoji, perhaps to soften the blow of such a statement. Fortunately, she didn’t elaborate which ones she was not impressed by.

If you have 50 years’ experience on any Topic A, it stands to reason that you probably don’t have a Topic B. This interloper certainly didn’t:

She then offered suggestions of five blogging topics she was ready to write for this site. Here was the writer’s actual list:

  1. Become a Successful Wholesale Supplier in 30 Days
  2. Want to be Amazing Wholesale Supplier? Here’s How
  3. How Much Can You Really Save by Shopping in Bulk?
  4. Opening a Restaurant? Read These Time (and Money) Saving Tips
  5. How to Coordinate Wholesale Shipping With International Partners

Or maybe she already had these five articles written and was looking for some poor sucker kind soul to help pass them along.

It gets worse. The last few of these I’ve received insisted on following up. Twice. Once, thrice. (“Just in case you missed it…”)

It’s at least somewhat obvious to me that these people are doing the least possible research: someone who’s written twenty thousand posts does not need to peel off fifty bucks for an article about wholesale shipping.

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Greens gone wild

Received yesterday: a spam offering a “New Wild Lettuce Video.”

I guess this had to be somewhere between romaine and Romulan. It goes on: “Similar to Morphine: The Best Natural Painkiller that Grows in Your Backyard.”

The rest of it is poorly disguised filler ripped off from some medieval-history article.

And I don’t get this URL: lostways.download. Plus a whole bunch of random spew. It’s a real top-level domain, but I wouldn’t trust it on general principle.

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The upward suck

Reports some loser at 89.32.67.91:

That is really fascinating, You’re an excessively professional blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and sit up for in search of extra of your fantastic post.

Not true. Were my professionalism excessive, right about now you’d be trying to fend off a DDoS from Cthulhu himself.

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Buy for me the reign

There is no shortage of mountebanks who offer to make you a veritable king in the land of Google. This one hit the spam trap t’other day, and spilled rather a lot of beans:

LinkLifting isn’t your typical Web optimization software program. In actual fact, it isn’t software program in any respect. As a substitute, LinkLifting is a completely managed service carried out by our crew of skilled Website positioning professionals, all of whom have in depth expertise working with small companies and massive manufacturers alike.

Here’s how LinkLifting works. All you’ll want to do is enter your web site and goal Web optimization key phrases or phrases within the kind above. Our system will routinely recommend probably the most related pages of your web site for promotion, in addition to recommending a month-to-month funds to realize your outcomes.

On daily basis, our crew will scan out huge database of tens of hundreds of top of the range donor web sites to seek out efficient backlinking alternatives. As quickly as we discover a match on your webpage, we’ll add a robust, extremely related backlink pointing straight to your goal web page.

There’s no want so that you can ship e mail after e mail to webpage house owners and bloggers

There’s no have to pay an Search engine marketing company enormous charges for a fraction of the outcomes

There’s no want to fret about your web site by no means transferring up within the rankings

There’s no farking command of the English language. And these people want to run database searches for you? They couldn’t find a fart in the restroom of a Taco Bell.

As a substitute of spending your money and time on Search engine optimization methods that don’t ship outcomes, you earn nice hyperlinks from extremely related web sites at a fraction of the associated fee you’d pay an Search engine optimization company for decrease high quality, much less related hyperlinks.

High quality backlinks are the singular most essential component for profitable Search engine marketing. Regardless of how nice your on-web page content material is perhaps, with out nice backlinks, it’s by no means going to rank for extremely aggressive, beneficial search key phrases that may generate leads and gross sales for your small business.

Our hyperlink constructing service takes the effort and time out of constructing hyperlinks to your webpage, letting you spend your time working your small business as a substitute of constructing hyperlinks manually. Simply create a LinkLifting process, set your price range and watch as we report each day in your website’s Search engine optimisation progress.

This drivel was linked to someone’s Fiverr page, which can mean only one of one thing: some shlub is getting paid a pittance to spam it all over the universe. If you see it, be sure to delete it if you can, and laugh at it if you can’t.

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Mildly rotten phish

If you get email through Earthlink, you might have received this low-grade annoyance:

During our last check, your account did not meet the security requirements according to our new policies.

One or more entries are inaccurate and need to be updated, your account will be placed on hold until you provide the required information.

To correct this issue and resume normal activity, please use our secure link:

Click here <http://dzyadzorm.com/%3fearthlink1rlev6/> to login and confirm your phone number.

You have 24 hours to provide the information or your account will be locked.

Yes, that’s the actual link address.

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Le pourriel

For what it’s worth, the Francophone spammers, at least in my limited experience, understand their language of choice better than the broken-English specialists who dominate the spam traps. This item was dumped on me last night:

En général, si une room interdit l’utilisation d’outils, les logiciels vont respecter ces interdictions, par suite il ne procèdent pas aux diversifications qui permettent à l’outil de fonctionner avec les spécificités de la room, notamment le codage des mains.

More or less:

In general, if a given room prohibits the use of certain utilities, the software you bring will comply with that prohibition, which means that you will not necessarily be able to work to the specifications of the room, even coding by hand.

I mean, yeah, it’s still spam, but it doesn’t insult one’s intelligence.

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eFaux

I still have a fax machine, but it gets scant use these days. It’s easier to deal with eFax, a j2 Global subsidiary that enables me to receive faxes through their Web site; an email alert comes in to advise of the arrival of a fax, and their application can be set to provide an eFax-specific notification.

In came two alerts yesterday, and they weren’t in the usual eFax format: the alleged Caller ID numbers, which numbers I’d never seen before, were out of place, and instead of the usual link to efax.com, there was a ZIP file with a filename of [seemingly random 14 digits].zip. “Ha,” I said, and then a little bit later: “Ha.”

Neither of the two alleged Caller ID numbers, incidentally, exists at all: there is no area code 221, and 838, beginning later this year, will coexist with 518 in New York State’s Capital District and points north, but no 838 numbers have yet been assigned.

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Truth in spamming

This hit my mailbox last night. Please note the, um, return address:

Email spam purporting to offer ways to increase one's height

That’s gotta be a pretty large domain, don’t you think?

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Word salad with no dressing

Most comment spams are incomprehensible.

Most personal ads are incomprehensible.

Now combine the two and you have this thing, dropped into my mailbox this week:

Smart, crazy, funny, wanting and eventually still mature. I’m 5-3 midium built with stunted wavey black hair. I smell good. I pet good and yes, I am attractive. With very light peel (IRISH) and Honeybrown eyes (Mexican) I have a greats ense of humor and when your sad or up-end, I will shape you laugh. Looking looking for joy and excitment, would infatuation to arrange pleasure I am finishing up my considerably in college, dearth to have nonsense in between. Not looking in the direction of A LTR.

The rest is sufficiently disquieting to justify throwing it under the jump:

Read the rest of this entry »

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An Important Document

“You may have been pre-qualified for an auto loan up to $32,950,” says the back of this silly-ass document, billed as “Freedom Certificate of Finance — Preferred” on the front, along with a picture of Lady Liberty flanked by a couple of pieces of artillery. After all, what’s more American than recovering from a period of penury by going out and overspending on a frigging new car?

This is the very top of that front page:

Important Document from some car dealer

No document attempting to sell me stuff can possibly be “Important.”

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It’s a total look

Dropped into the spam trap last night, by someone using TinyURL to obscure whatever address was being promoted:

Wow, incredible weblog structure! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for?

you made running a blog look easy. The total look of your site is magnificent, let alone the content material!

And I insist that you let alone the content material; I don’t cotton to content scrapers.

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Less irritating than usual

This is one of the Suck Up to the Webmaster-style comment spams, and it was blissfully short:

Nice blog i get more information in here thank

Couldn’t come up with a location for the IP address (202.62.17.175), but the proffered URL actually worked as a URL, and better yet, it didn’t offer to sell me wiener pills.

So I’m cutting some small amount of slack here: he gets no comment approval — after all, if I did approve him, future comments would not go through the moderation queue — but I am going to show you what’s at the most recent post of his. It looks like this:

4 Easy Hairstyles for Greasy Hair of Women

English might be his third language, maybe.

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Tools of the trade, so to speak

Presumably offered by someone with an .ru address, and duly dropped into the spam bucket:

Absolutely NEW update of SEO/SMM package “XRumer 16.0 + XEvil 3.0”: captchas regignizing of Google, Facebook, Bing, Hotmail, SolveMedia, Yandex, and more than 8400 another types of captchas, with highest precision (80..100%) and highest speed (100 img per second).

You can connect XEvil 3.0 with all most popular SEO/SMM programms: XRumer, GSA SER, ZennoPoster, Srapebox, Senuke, and more than 100 of other programms.

Interested? There are a lot of demo videos about XEvil in YouTube.

See you later!

There is white-hat SEO, and there is black-hat SEO. I suspect this is the blackest possible hat. (How much more black can this be? The answer is none. None more black.)

And I can’t find any references to “regignizing” except in copies of this blurb. Should it be “recognizing”? Bing, at least, thinks so, and Google appears to agree.

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Smart appreciation

Snagged from the Akismet spam trap last night:

What i don’t realize is if truth be told how you are now not actually a lot more smartly-appreciated than you might be right now. You’re so intelligent. You already know thus significantly with regards to this subject, made me for my part imagine it from numerous varied angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be fascinated unless it is one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs outstanding. All the time care for it up!

I think I’d almost rather had been insulted.

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Entering cod mode

Some highly questionable dickweed identified as “resident evil zero pc game free download” — Rebecca Chambers herself couldn’t make me give them a link — dumped this on me last night:

Far too much money is needlessly spent yearly by hard working folks replacing perfectly fine USB devices they assumed were busted, while in actual fact, they merely needed new drivers.

But, if you get any of those varieties of messages out of your computer, you can be sure make fish an outdated driver causes the problem.

What is worse, it might result in computer freezing, blue screen and even crashes.

If fish are involved, freezing might be a good idea; eventually they’ll stink up the joint otherwise.

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This deal probably stinks

Wouldn’t you think?

Email spam from Creditaroma

And what’s with that domain? “Tremordimension dot men?”

(Received in the email spam trap last night.)

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Take me off your damn list

Appearing in the spam trap yesterday:

When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment.

Is there any way you can remove people from that service?

Appreciate it!

The dirtbag, you may have already guessed, has never commented on anything here and is not subscribed to anything. He also has a stolen URL and an almost-certainly bogus email address. That said, the least I can do is to remove him. Feel free to block 45.57.230.189.

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Some testimonial

Left in the hopper for Akismet to digest:

What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious experience abot unpredicted emotions.

Actually, my own emotions are fairly easy to predict, but I concede that I have preserveness out the wazoo.

(Source: 172.103.66.207. Block ’em.)

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The ever-popular Suck Up to the Webmaster trick

This landed in the spam bucket on One of Those Other Sites:

This design is spectacular! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained.

Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost … HaHa!) Excellent job.

I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.

Too cool!

This came from 178.137.95.251, and boasted a link to a Pharmacy of Dubious Credentials. There are times when I wonder if we’d have even half this much spam if — well, there’s this statistic:

Counterfeit Viagra, despite generally being cheaper, can contain harmful substances or substances that affect how Viagra works, such as blue printer ink, amphetamines, metronidazole, boric acid, and rat poison, as well as talcum powder and commercial paint. The annual counterfeit Viagra trade is worth an estimated $75 billion per year.

Viagra is one of the world’s most counterfeited medicines. According to a Pfizer study, around 80% of sites claiming to sell Viagra were selling counterfeits.

I doubt Pfizer has ever made $75 billion in a year off the stuff. And you’d think printer ink would make the fakes more expensive.

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Still better than store-bought

Live from Windows Live Mail, it’s a rather unfortunate email spam:

email subject: Can I ask you something?

I’m reasonably certain this is not an attempt to sell me truffles.

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Nine point something stone

Received in the email spam trap:

Spam header: She lost 133 pounds on a students budget

Most students being chronically broke, I find this assertion almost not risible.

Oh, and this was the first paragraph of the text sneaked into the unlinked area:

In and of itself, one man leaving one band in the middle of the 1960s might warrant little more than a historical footnote. But what makes the departure of Eric Clapton from the Yardbirds on March 13, 1965, more significant is the long and complicated game of musical chairs it set off within the world of British blues rock. When Clapton walked out on the Yardbirds, he did more than just change the course of his own career. He also set in motion a chain of events that would see not just one, but two more guitar giants pass through the Yardbirds on their way toward significant futures of their own. And through the various groups they would later form, influence, join and quit, these three guitar heroes — Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page — would shape more than a decade’s worth of rock and roll.

This appears to be where they stole it. “Pass through the Yardbirds,” all by itself, is almost not risible.

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You want a piece of this?

So this came in over the transom back in January:

I’m currently working with a brilliant business who operates in the education industry. I noticed your site has published a very interesting article, dustbury.com: Almost Yogurt Archives, which is why I think a collaboration between us could work well.

We would like to feature a bespoke piece of content on your site, which we think would be of great interest to you and your audience. For the privilege of being featured on your site, we would be happy to offer you a fee of $50.

We hope to hear back from you soon.

Obviously she picked a link at random to throw in there. When I ignored her, she repeated her request, a little louder.

At the other end of the spectrum:

I’m a freelancer who works for … an online media agency. Would you be interested in writing and posting an article for a fixed fee? The article should be relevant to the category and to the readers of your site.

If you are interested, please let me know and I’ll provide you with more details. Also, if you own other sites please send me their URLs, so I can review them.

It’s not like she thinks I’m swell or anything, either:

Depending on your local law, you may need to make it clear that the links you use are in fact adverts.

But of course they are.

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