A Short Guide to Fraud Spotting – Part II

A Short Guide to Fraud Spotting – Part II

We would like to appeal for a return to common sense. We present a scene below which would not be likely to occur in real life. We do not expect you to find it believable.

You have just come out of a shopping center and are walking to your car. A strangely dressed man in a sequined tuxedo approaches you.

“Hello sir or madam, we’ve located your ROLLS ROYCE that you won in the email lottery”, he says.

“What?” you say.

“Yes, sir or madam, we’ve have successfully located your ROLLS ROYCE and it is being driven here even now.”

“What?” you say.

“Yes, it took many efforts but we have successfully retrieved your ROLLS ROYCE car from the personages who had misappropriated it from you and have completely recovered in all it parts. We have a diplomat driving it here right now so that you can have it back then.”

“Yes, it is your lucky day. But wait, you will not be able to drive both cars home.”

“What?” you say.

“No, this will not be acceptable at all. We can help. Just give me the keys to the car you are driven here with and I will bring it to your house and park it in your garage. Then when the diplomat arrives with your ROLLS ROYCE you can pay him the recovery fee and you can drive the ROLLS ROYCE to your house.”

“What?” you say.

“Yes, but we must hurry. If the diplomat with your ROLLS ROYCE sees that you are still having possession of the car you are driven here with he may become upset and try to keep the ROLLS ROYCE for himself. We must hurry that I can remove the car you are driven here in before he comes as he is on his way even now while I am speaking to you.”

The question we must now ask is “Would you even consider giving the strangely dressed man the keys to your car?”

We would hope the answer would be “No”, and yet, for many people, if the strangely dressed man was communicating via email, somehow his story would be believable.

We can only ask why?

Another common fraud is the false computer virus scanner.

These delightful frauds pop up from ads on web sites from time to time, ads placed by scam artists masquerading as legitimate software developers.

They generally commandeer the web browser and scream and flash messages stating that your computer has been infected and it is not safe to do anything until you pay them for their program so the dangerous virus can be excised.

Garbage!

No, we repeat, no legitimate anti-virus program will extort money from you; on the contrary, most will clean your machine for free. These manufacturers realize that if they demonstrate their skills after the damage is done, you will be more inclined to purchase their product for protection.

If someone walked up to you when you were getting out of your car and told you that it sounded bad and that you shouldn’t drive it until they fixed it for you and that it would only cost $50 and they’d need the money and your keys right now because it might explode and kill you; would you give them your keys?

If something like that pops up on your computer, do not click on it. Call someone you know who understands computers and ask them for advice. Call the manufacturers customer support line. If you have an anti-virus program contact their support services.

In many cases pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del will bring you to a screen which will allow you to shut the computer off. This will not always stop the attacker, but in many cases it will.

While we have done this successfully at times, we must insist that you try it at your own risk and we will bear no responsibility for the outcome.

Install Microsoft’s Security Essentials from their website located here.

It is free and it works very well and we recommend it even though we are not generally considered to be big fans of Microsoft.

Both email scams and virus scams work because for some reason, many people assume that if the computer says it’s so, it must be so.

Use the internet to investigate, here are some examples of quotes cut from some of the emails we have archived. They were selected at random and are configured as links which search the internet for the quote using Google: 

“You are advised to contact Mr. Charles Mayindo”

“I am Mrs. Farida Waziri the Present chairman of ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME”

“IRREVOCABLE RELEASE OF YOUR PAYMENT VIA CASH DELIVER”

“Your Email just won $650,500.00 US Dollars From this year 2011 United Nations Trust Funds award contact email for claim”

“you would going to send them administrator payment fee”  

Five examples culled from our collection at random and five Google pages with enough information to at least raise suspicions.

In the meanwhile we shall continue to wade through the pile and point out the issues which should lead you to the conclusion that you are looking at a Fraud.

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This entry was posted in Email fraud, Humor, Satire and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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