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Issue 43 - Hoax-Slayer Newsletter

Issue 43: 28th October, 2004

This week in Hoax-Slayer:

Hoax-Slayer is a Free Monthly Web-Based Newsletter brought to you by Brett Christensen

The Hoax-Slayer Newsletter keeps you informed about the latest email hoaxes and current Internet scams. Hoax-Slayer also features anti-spam tips, computer security information, pertinent articles and more.

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eBay Phisher Scams

The online auction site eBay is again the target of phisher scammers. The scammers are using a variety of bogus messages that are designed to trick recipients into visiting a fraudulent website and providing login details. Some recent eBay scam emails have claimed that there are billing issues that customers need to resolve by re-confirming their account information. Others claim that the recipient's eBay account will be suspended unless account information is updated within 72 hours. Still others state that user information needs to be updated for security reasons.

The bogus "Sign In" web page is virtually identical to a real eBay login page. Note that the fraudulent page is not a secure site. That is, "https://" is not part of the URL, nor is the padlock icon displayed in the browser's status bar. This fake page opened via the link provided in the scam email included below.

Bogus Log-in Page
[Click image for larger view]

EBay is only one of many major institutions that are almost constantly targeted by phisher scammers. Be wary of any email that requests you to access a website and provide passwords, user names, credit card details or other sensitive personal information. It is highly unlikely that any legitimate institution would request such information via email. If you receive such a request, do not reply and do not click on any links provided. Contact the institution directly if you have the slightest doubt regarding the veracity of a message. You should also check the institution's real website, as information about current phisher scams is often provided.

More information about phisher scams

Subject: Billing Issues

Dear valued eBay member:

We recently have determined that different computers have logged onto your eBay account, and multiple password failures were present before the logons. We now need you to re-confirm your account information to us. If this is not completed by 05/11 2004, we will be forced to suspend your account indefinitely, as it may have been used for fraudulent purposes. We thank you for your cooperation in this manner.

To confirm your eBay records click here:
[LINK REMOVED]

We appreciate your support and understanding, as we work together to keep eBay a safe place to trade.

Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Trust and Safety Department
eBay Inc. Please do not reply to this e-mail as this is only a notification. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered.

Copyright 1995-2004 eBay Inc. All Rights Reserved. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the eBay User Agreement and Privacy Policy. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. eBay and the eBay logo are trademarks of eBay Inc. eBay is located at 2145 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125.

HTML Version
[Click image for HTML Version of this email]




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Perfume Robbery Hoax

Several new versions of the old perfume robbery email hoax have been circulating. A new Sydney based Australian version was submitted to me this week. I have also received a new Canadian version as well as the US based version included below.

In 1999, a woman claimed to have been assaulted and robbed by assailants who used a debilitating substance disguised as perfume. The story soon made its way to the Internet and spread rapidly as a "warning", even though there were no reported cases of such attacks happening again. In fact, even the original story may have been untrue.

Sometimes, people do actually peddle perfume on the street and in parking lots. Although the quality of this perfume might be questionable, it IS perfume and sniffing it won't render you helpless. These people just want to sell you cheap perfume. They are not trying to rob you.....at least not explicitly (grin).

I suspect that sightings of these real perfume sellers might be helping to keep this old hoax circulating vigorously. If you received this "warning" and then later encountered a gang of legitimate perfume peddlers, you might be inclined to take the warning seriously and pass it on.

If this method of robbery were really happening simultaneously in several different nations, then the mainstream media would certainly have picked up the story. The task of warning the public regarding such attacks would not be left to the haphazard forwarding of an email. Regardless of the particular version that crosses your inbox the message should be deleted rather than forwarded.

Reference:
Company Leaves Perfume Peddlers Feeling Betrayed

Hi all, thought this was worthy of passing along. This was sent to my wife, by a close friend. The last comments are from her.

This is something that happened to Ryan and me on the way back from Texas last spring. I didn't think much of it until now. The reason we were a little suspicious is we had been riding in a jeep all day with 100 degrees temps and we stopped at a truck stop for something to drink. When I was leaving a young girl followed me out and asked what kind of cologne I was wearing. Well, after 7 hours in the car sweating. I don't think you could tell I was or was not wearing any cologne. We just got in the jeep and said no thanks. So this does happen.

To all my female friends - It was about 3 weeks ago, I was at the shell station in Auburn getting gas. It was about 11:30 PM. I was approached by 2 men and 2 women in a car. The man that was driving asked me 'What kind of perfume do you wear? I was a bit confused and I asked him 'Why?' He said 'We are selling some name brand perfumes, at cheap prices.' I said I had no money. He then reached out of the car and handed me paper that was laminated; it had many perfumes on it I looked quickly at it and gave it back. I said, I have no money. He said it is OK, we take check, cash, or credit cards. Then the people in the car began to laugh. I just got in my car and said no thanks. Then I received this e-mail yesterday, and it sent chills up my spine.

Please read this It is not joke.

Here is the e-mail! ! I was sent-

Dear Friends,
I know not all of you are women that I am sending this to, but am hoping you will share this with your wives, daughters, mother, sisters, etc. Our world seems to be getting crazier by the day. Pipes bombs in mailboxes and sickos in parking lots with perfume. Be careful. I was approached yesterday afternoon around 3:30 PM in the Wal-Mart parking lot at University Drive in Des Moines, 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 ago warning of a 'Wanna smell this neat perfume?' 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, pointing at them, and told her about how I was sent a e-mail at work, about someone walking up to you at the malls or 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 e-mail, 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. I wanted to do the same for you.

PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO ALL YOUR WOMEN FRIENDS, AND PLEASE BE ALERT, AND BE AWARE. IF YOU ARE A MAN AND RECEIVE THIS, PASS IT ON TO YOUR WOMEN FRIENDS.

Ladies this happened to me yesterday and I didn't smell the perfume either, thanks to this email. This is true. Believe me, I know. I was over by Big Lots in the parking lot at lunch time when I was approached. So either day or night, it does not matter. There were 3 guys together when I was approached. I called the police when I got back to my desk.

Like the email says above, LET EVERYONE KNOW ABOUT THIS. YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, COWORKERS, who ever. It helped me. The first things that popped in my head was this e-mail warning.


More Perfume Hoax Examples

Discuss This Story

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College Degree Scam Spam

Earn a Degree based on your Life Experience? Get a Genuine College Degree in 2 weeks? Claims like these have been turning up in our inboxes for years. In fact, this sort of scam pre-dates the Internet. Just pick up the phone, pay the specified fee and your degree will be mailed to you within a few weeks. This might sound great, but any degree or diploma procured in such a manner is certain to be worthless. The dubious companies offering these "qualifications" are the only ones that will reap any benefit from these schemes.

If you pay the fee, you will most probably receive a seemingly official document that might look quite impressive on the lounge room wall. However, that will be the extent of the document's worth. It is highly unlikely that you will land a job based on the bogus qualifications outlined on these fake degree documents. Employers or academia will not accept such qualifications. Even if an employer was gullible enough to give you a job on the strength of one of these fake degrees, you could soon find that you did not have the necessary skills to perform the job.

The spam emails usually claim that the degrees are fully accredited, approved or verifiable in some way and this may actually be true at face value. Thomas Nixon explains that the accreditation body itself may be bogus. In other words, the degree you purchase may indeed be accredited. However academia or government may not recognize the organization that offers this "accreditation". Thus any such accreditation or approval is likely to be meaningless.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to tertiary education. The only way to earn a university degree is through a lot of hard work.

Earn a Degree based on your Life Experience

Obtain a Bachelor's, Master's, MBA, or PhD based on your present knowledge and life experience.

No required tests, classes, or books. Confidentiality assured.

Join our fully recognized Degree Program.

Are you a truly qualified professional in your field but lack the appropriate, recognized documentation to achieve your goals?

Or are you venturing into a new field and need a boost to get your foot in the door so you can prove your capabilities?

Call us for information that can change your life and help you to achieve your goals!!!

[PHONE NUMBER REMOVED] (24 hours a day)

CALL NOW TO RECEIVE YOUR DIPLOMA WITHIN 30 DAYS


Discuss This Story

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Virus Report: Weekly Virus Wrap-Up

The list below represents some of the most significant new virus threats identified by Symantec Security Response over the last few days.


W32.Netsky.AE@mm is a worm that sends itself to email addresses harvested from the Windows Address Book and uses a built-in SMTP engine. It can also spread via instant messaging and file sharing programs. The subject of infected emails will be one of the following:

* Email Account Information
* User Information
* Detailed Information
* URGENT PLEASE READ!
* User Info
* Server Error
* Urgent Update!


W32.Mydoom.AG@mm searches the infected computer for email addresses and sends itself to them using its own SMTP engine. It can also spread via peer-to-peer networks. The subject line of the infected email will be one of the following:

* Attention!!!
* Do not reply to this email
* Error
* Good day
* hello
* Mail Delivery System
* Mail Transaction Failed
* Server Report
* Status


The W32.Anpes@mm worm searches the infected computer for email addresses and sends itself using Microsoft Outlook. It tries to create a user account, lower security settings and modify settings for Internet Explorer.


W32.Bagz.F@mm also uses its own SMTP engine to spread itself to email addresses gathered from the infected computer. The subject of infected emails will be one of the following:

* ASAP
* please responce
* Read this
* urgent
* toxic
* contract
* Money
* office
* Have a nice day
* Hello
* Hi
* Russian's
* Amirecans
* attachments
* attach
* waiting
* best regards
* Administrator
* Warning
* text
* Vasia
* re: Andrey
* re: please
* re: order
* Allert!
* Att


Internet Worm SMTP Engines Explained

Discuss This Story

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Help Save a Nigerian Astronaut

I have seen some quite outrageous messages from Nigerian scammers but this one takes the cake. It seems that a hapless Nigerian astronaut has been stranded on a secret Soviet space station for 14 YEARS, no less!

Surely not even the most gullible of recipients would fall for such a bizarre tale. This message is so absurd that it may even be intended as a spoof of "genuine" Nigerian scam letters. However, it must be said that Nigerian fraudsters manage to steal millions of dollars every year from people all around the world. In spite of the wide publicity given to Nigerian frauds, the scammers continue to net new victims every day.

For more Nigerian Scam information and examples visit the Hoax-Slayer Nigerian Scam pages

Subject: Nigerian Astronaut Wants To Come Home
Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager
National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA)
Plot 555
Misau Street
PMB 437
Garki, Abuja, FCT NIGERIA
Dear Mr. Sir,

REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE-STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

I am Dr. Bakare Tunde, the cousin of Nigerian Astronaut, Air Force Major Abacha Tunde. He was the first African in space when he made a secretflight to the Salyut 6 space station in 1979. He was on a later Soviet spaceflight, Soyuz T-16Z to the secret Soviet military space station Salyut 8T in 1989. He was stranded there in 1990 when the Soviet Union was dissolved. His other Soviet crew members returned to earth on the Soyuz T-16Z, but his place was taken up by return cargo. There have been occasional Progrez supply flights to keep him going since that time. He is in good humor, but wants to come home.

In the 14-years since he has been on the station, he has accumulated flight pay and interest amounting to almost $ 15,000,000 American Dollars. This is held in a trust at the Lagos National Savings and Trust Association. If we can obtain access to this money, we can place a down payment with the Russian Space Authorities for a Soyuz return flight to bring him back to Earth. I am told this will cost $ 3,000,000 American Dollars. In order to access the his trust fund we need your assistance.

Consequently, my colleagues and I are willing to transfer the total amount to your account or subsequent disbursement, since we as civil servants are prohibited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (Civil Service Laws) from opening and/ or operating foreign accounts in our names.

Needless to say, the trust reposed on you at this juncture is enormous. In return, we have agreed to offer you 20 percent of the transferred sum, while 10 percent shall be set aside for incidental expenses (internal and external) between the parties in the course of the transaction. You will be mandated to remit the balance 70 percent to other accounts in due course.

Kindly expedite action as we are behind schedule to enable us include downpayment in this financial quarter.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this message via my direct number [NUMBER REMOVED] only.

Yours Sincerely, Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager


Discuss This Story

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Tip of the Week: Microsoft Word Shortcuts

Microsoft Word has a lot of keyboard shortcuts that can increase your efficiency. Here are just a few that I find particularly useful:

Cntrl + C: Copy
Cntrl + V: Paste
Cntrl + X: Cut
Cntrl + Z: Undo
Cntrl + Y: Redo
Cntrl + S: Save
Cntrl + B: Make highlighted text Bold
Cntrl + I: Make highlighted text Italic
Cntrl + K: Insert a hyperlink
Shift + F3: Change case of highlighted text
Shift + F7: Open the thesaurus
F4: Repeat the last action

Note: Many of these keyboard shortcuts work in other programs as well.

**Cool Microsoft Word trick**

1. Open a blank MS Word document.

2. Enter "=rand(10,9)" without the quotes, and press the "enter" key.

You can alter the numbers in the round brackets to vary the results.
This is a documented feature of Microsoft Word that allows sample text to be quickly added to a document for testing purposes.

Discuss This Story

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Feedback from Readers and Site Visitors

If you receive an email that you suspect is a hoax or scam, I'd appreciate it if you would send me a copy.

Popular Hoax-Slayer Articles This Week:

Nigerian Loan Scams - 419 Scam Information

Camel Spiders in Iraq Hoax Email

Tommy Hilfiger Racist Comments Hoax

ShadowCrew.com Terrorist Prank Email

One of the most widespread and enduring hoax emails in the short history of the Internet is undoubtedly the Money From Microsoft hoax. Every week, I receive dozens of examples of this hoax submitted from all corners of the planet. If there was an award for "Most Forwarded Email In History" this hoax would be among the top contenders. Unfortunately, Mr Gates is not sharing his fortune and nobody has been paid for forwarding this annoying email (grin).

Just a reminder that I can no longer reply to scam and hoax enquiries via email. I am currently getting hundreds of email enquiries a week and it has become virtually impossible for me to answer them all. If you have a question, please ask in the Hoax-Slayer Forums. Also, you may find that your question has already been answered in the Hoax-Slayer FAQ.

Thank you for taking the time to submit examples of scams and hoaxes. Your input is very much appreciated Discuss This Story

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The Hoax_Slayer Newsletter is published by:
Brett M.Christensen
Queensland, Australia
All Rights Reserved
©Brett M. Christensen, 2008
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