- Donald E. Hester
Recent Scams Feb 2019
Picture from a recent scam email.
Email scammers have been around since the early ages of the internet. Every year new types of scams flood your inbox, asking for money or account information. These are a few of the scam emails that have already become common this year.
Emails that start with a low risk request like “Are you available for a quick task?” seem to be growing in numbers. The scam starts off with a seemingly insignificant threat of simple questions with no discernible security implications. Victims don’t see a threat in disclosing if they are available or not, especially if the email comes from an authority figure.
Do you have a moment? I need you to run a quick task for me as soon as possible. Send me a cell # i can text you on.
P.S: Just reply back.
Like a lobster in hot water, the heat doesn’t normally come in the first email. Scammers work up to a request for money or information only after you have already responded. Be sure to evaluate this type of request or confirm it out of band with the requester. Out of band means using a different form of communication with the person making the request. For example, if you received an email from your CEO, call them to confirm the request. Don’t use a phone number or alternate mode of communication if it was in the original email you received. Instead, look it up in the company directory.
Another example of one of these scams is a link out of context. You might receive an email from what looks like a contact of yours with a link asking you to click on it. Often multiple people are copied on the email. This is a good indication someone is spoofing your friend's email or their email has been compromised.
There are also a few recent scams with inappropriate requests or solicitation for sex. The email may even contain pictures that are not safe for work. Generally, it asks if you would like to see more pictures with a link that takes you to malware.
Package tracking notifications are also very common scams. The email purports to be a tracking notification for a recent order from FedEx or UPS. However, if you look at the links they do not lead to the supposed companies’ websites.
Recently, there have been blackmail emails going around as well. I have had at least five people report similar messages to me in the last six months. These are emails demanding payment, with failure to pay resulting in the scammer releasing compromising pictures taken from your computer or phone’s webcam to your contacts. A warning not to contact the police is included.
To make it seem more authentic they also put an old password you might have used in the subject line. This is meant to scare you into compliance. However, the password was probably derived from an account breach that had your email associated with it. The email listed in mine was not one I had ever used. You can safely ignore these threatening emails. However, if you still use the password they sent make sure you change it everywhere you use it. Generally, we recommend using unique passwords for each site or, better yet, using multi-factor authentication.
Here is an example of an email sent to me:
Lets get right to the purpose. You may not know me and you are probably thinking why you're getting this e-mail? Not a single person has paid me to check you.
Well, i installed a malware on the xxx videos (sexually graphic) web-site and there's more, you visited this web site to have fun (you know what i mean). When you were viewing videos, your internet browser began operating as a Remote Desktop with a keylogger which provided me access to your screen and web camera. immediately after that, my software program gathered all your contacts from your Messenger, social networks, as well as email . after that i made a double video. First part displays the video you were watching (you have a fine taste ; )), and next part shows the recording of your web camera, yeah its u.
You got two options. We should look at these choices in aspects:
First alternative is to just ignore this e-mail. as a consequence, i will send your actual tape to every bit of your personal contacts and visualize about the awkwardness that you receive. in addition if you happen to be in an important relationship, precisely how this will affect?
2nd alternative should be to give me $1000. We are going to describe it as a donation. in this situation, i will immediately eliminate your video recording. You can keep everyday life like this never took place and you never will hear back again from me.
You'll make the payment by Bitcoin (if you don't know this, search for 'how to buy bitcoin' in Google search engine).
BTC address: 1EEyhLwJPqj5n8z7KxRfZehCoq5jGEf5vu
[CaSe-SeNSiTiVe copy & paste it]
Should you are wondering about going to the law enforcement, well, this e mail cannot be traced back to me. i have covered my actions. i am just not trying to charge you a huge amount, i wish to be paid. You now have one day in order to pay. i have a unique pixel within this e mail, and now i know that you have read through this email. if i do not receive the BitCoins, i will certainly send your video to all of your contacts including members of your family, co-workers, etc. Nevertheless, if i do get paid, i will destroy the recording immediately. if you want to have proof, reply with Yes & i definitely will send out your video to your 5 friends. This is the non:negotiable offer that being said please don't waste my time and yours by responding to this email message.
As you can see, these scams are worded very differently, but the idea is the same. These examples can help you identify a potential scam, but they are just a few of the ways these emails might be written. Always be aware of the sender and closely evaluate every email you receive. You never know what scammers will try next to get what they want.