Tag Archives: e mail scams

Three Money Insights for Wednesday

Another huge wave of phishing scams are showing up in your e-mails. These two are predominantly from E-bay and Amazon. The Amazon one works for the crooks because so many people have dealt with the company. The e-mail will state that your order has been cancelled and to click on the link. Tons of people do and are asked to enter their password. Once that’s entered, the crooks can go into the real Amazon within minutes and place orders for hundreds or thousands of dollars and have them shipped wherever they want. Amazon allows third-party shipping and retains your credit card information on your profile.

Don’t click on an e mail – almost never. Go to the real Amazon or E-bay on your browser. And you can also hover your mouse over the hyperlink the crooks want you to click where the bottom left side of your screen should show you the actual web site it is re-directing you to.

If you want to save some money in the kitchen, stick to a budget, and/or reduce waste, there are two new web sites that are kind of cool. Both are set up for you to enter the ingredients you have in the house and will ‘translate’ them into figuring out what you can make for dinner with what you have! The two sites are www.saymmm.com and www.supercook.com

What would you pay to have lunch with one of the richest and most successful investment people in the world, Warren Buffet? Lunch with Buffet was auction off last Friday at $3.5 million. It’s an annual auction in support of the Glide Foundation helping the homeless in San Francisco. I’m sure it’d be great investment insights but at a big price…

Internet Fraud – Get Informed and Spread the Word

Yesterday, I received an e mail from one of my clients that I want to share with you:

“I’m writing this with tears in my eyes, I came down here to London, United Kingdom for a short vacation unfortunately i was mugged at the park of the hotel where i stayed, all cash, credit card and cell were stolen off me but luckily for me i still have my passports with me.

I’ve been to the embassy and the Police here but they’re not helping issues at all and my flight leaves in less than 6hrs from now but am having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won’t let me leave until i settle the bills, I’m freaked out at the moment…”

The e mail goes on to ask for money in wanting me to reply with some help. None of it is true, but many people fall for this scam.

Internet fraud is THE fastest growing white collar crime. This person’s account was hacked and the e mails went to everybody in her address book.

There is also the Nigerian scam that you’ve inherited a ton of money but just need to send some of the tax payment that’s due, and you’ll get your five, 10, or 20 million dollars. Plus, last week, I received an e mail that my Paypal account needed to be updated, and one that my Bank of Montreal account had been hacked. That one was easy, as I don’t deal with the Bank of Montreal.

You and I may know these are all scams, but literally billions of these get sent out, and lots of people do get taken.

To make sure you, or your family or friends, don’t get taken, here are a few easy steps to make sure it doesn’t happen:

If in doubt, first call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 888 495 8501

Make sure you educated you older parents that may have e mail access, but more likely to fall for the “family member needs help” scam, or to share personal information on-line.

Never ever, ever, supply any personal information by e mail. If it’s a business you deal with, call them at a number you know is accurate, and not one that the scamster supplied.

If you’re being asked for money to help a family member or friend, contact that person, or someone who knows them by phone.

Get informed and aware. There is a great booklet that explains most of the common scams that’s put out by Credit Unions. It’s called Defend Yourself from Fraud. Go into a credit union branch and find the display, or ask them for it.

Knowledge is power, and this is one area of the internet where you constantly have to watch yourself.

E-mail Scams – You Gotta Know

This is likely the last time I’ll get a chance to talk to you because I’ve hit it big. Abdul Kashalanda Kukahereman from Nigeria sent me an e mail that I’m getting 7.5 million dollars from an estate. So I’m quite excited. Of the zillions of people with e-mail, he picked me!

Well, not quite. But on some of these e-mail scams, there was some good news recently. The most common scams are along the lines of purchasing something from you or paying you for something, giving you a cheque and having you refund the overpayment.

You’re sent a fake cheque that looks incredibly real from E-bay, lottery accounts, Wal-Mart, pre-payment on sales commissions or the likes. The scam is to get you to cash the cheque, keep 10 or 20 percent of the money for your trouble and just get a Western Union draft to send the rest of the money back.

It can be months before the cheque you thought was a cheque actually bounces. Now you’ve sent back the 80% or so with your real money and now the bank charges you back for the fraudulent cheque.

These scams are mostly run out of Nigeria, so finally the U.S. Secret Service was able to convict someone. Recently, Edna Fiedler was sent to prison for sending out over $609 million in these phony cheques. The U.S. Postal Service also sent 15 staff to Nigeria to work with the post office there. In a 90-day period they intercepted counterfeit cheques, lottery cheques, E-bay overpayments, etc. for, are you ready for this: $2.1 billion.

The newest scam is out of Hong Kong. It’s an e-mail asking for nothing at all, just telling you that you’ve won $5,000. You just need to send copy of passport, drivers license, etc. but they’re not asking for money. The scam is getting your identity with what you might mail. With that they can clean out your bank accounts and obtain fraudulent credit with this identity theft and that’s worth way more to the crooks.

You and I might be internet wise, but for those of us with older parents, make absolutely sure your parents get to hear some of these scams. Maybe these two, or print off the phony ones from the Royal Bank or Paypal claiming your account has been breached and you need to just update your information. Senior are the biggest group targeted and your parents, uncles or whoever needs to learn THE best words about e-mails from people they don’t know: Just don’t click.

Phishing and Whaling

A few months ago we covered a little about phishing – with a “ph.” It’s the millions of e mails sent blindly hoping to get you to click on the link and supply personal information. They’re often from Paypal, E Bay or the Royal Bank claiming your account has been frozen for irregularities. I received three about the Royal Bank and I sure don’t deal with the mega banks. They’re always, always fraudulent so never ever click on them. Think about it, I’d bet your bank doesn’t even have your e-mail address and they never communicate with you by e-mail.

The newest, and way more sophisticated con is called whaling. Whales are big – that’s the implication here. These are e-mails specifically targeted to executives, business owners and big cheeses. These are researched and written very well.
They are generally claiming to be from the Better Business Bureau, a vendor request for invoice information, from a lawyer with a summons or a recruiting firm.

What the crooks want in this case is to have you click on the attachment. Once that’s done, the spyware installs a key logger program that detects all your key strokes on the computer.

They’re not looking to tap that note to your sister, but the spyware is sophisticated enough that the crooks can detect when you’ve logged onto a bank site, your brokerage account or the likes. It then picks up the log in and passwords you’ve entered and as soon as you’re logged out, the crooks go in and clean out the account.

This is a really, really nasty scam that’s hit hundreds of executives already because it’s well researched, written and targeted.

Just make sure you run your anti-spy software regularly and follow my number one rule for these things and any attachments you don’t recognize: Just don’t click!