FTC Crackdown on ‘Operation Top 10 Dot Cons

FTC Top 10 Dot Cons and more:
Internet ScamBusters #40

As promised, here are some…

Internet ScamBusters Snippets

Real Virus to Watch For…

Be on the lookout for a new virus call W32/Navidad@M. It’s an Internet worm that spreads using the Windows email program Outlook. The email can come from addresses that you will recognize.

A file is attached to the email named NAVIDAD.EXE and when run, displays an Error dialog box which reads “UI.” A blue eye will then appear next to the clock in the lower right corner of your screen and a copy of the worm is saved to the file “winsvrc.vxd” in the SYSTEM directory.

If your PC is infected, then all emails addressed to you will be automatically responded to with an email from your address with the attachment.

McAfee recently upgraded this virus to a Medium On Watch risk because of an increase in infection levels worldwide. Use the above URL for detection and removal directions.

Latest Urban Legends Making the Rounds…

1. Subject: Gift Certificate from Cracker Barrel

My name is Junior Johnson, founder of Cracker Barrel. In an attempt to get our name out to more people in the rural communities where we are not currently located, we are offering a $50 gift certificate to anyone who forwards this email to 9 of their friends. Just send this email to them and you will receive an email back with a confirmation number to claim your gift certificate.

Junior Johnson
Founder of Cracker Barrel

Not true, of course. Read Cracker Barrel’s rebuttal: http://www.crackerbarrel.com/emailhoax/default.asp

2. A new drug called Progesterex is being used to permanently sterilize young women.

This email claims that there is a new drug on the market that has been out for less than a year called Progesterex. This drug was supposedly designed to sterilize horses, but it is now supposedly being used on young women.

In reality, there is no drug called Progesterex, and the rest of the email is bogus as well.

3. You can earn $100 from iWon.com by passing along a chain letter.

If you got this email you’re lucky (don’t delete). You have just won 100 dollars!……. You will only get the money if you send this to 5 or more people. A box will appear on the screen after you have sent it! It really works…. try it!

Take 5 min. out of your time and send this… believe me you won’t be sorry!!

0-2 people: $10
2-4 people: $20
4-6 people: $50
6-8 people: $75
8-10 people: $100!!!!!!!! Keep on sending!!!!!
iWon.com http://www.iwon.com why wouldn’t you?

Again, not true. Read iWon.com’s rebuttal. http://www.iwon.com/ct/help/chainmail.html

4. The “5 cent surcharge on e-mail” hoax is making the rounds again. Don’t be fooled — there is no Bill 602P, nor a “public-minded” lawyer named Richard Stepp.

FTC’s Crackdown on “Operation Top Ten Dot Cons”

Con artists who have gone high-tech to peddle traditional scams online have been branded with a new name… “dot cons.” The FTC, after a busy year working with international law enforcement, recently announced 251 law enforcement actions against online scammers in “Operation Top Ten Dot Cons.”

We’ve included an excerpt below of the top ten targeted scams and what they involve from the FTC site.

1. Internet Auctions
After sending your money, you may receive an item that is less valuable than promised, or nothing at all.

2. Internet Access Services
You may be “trapped” into a long-term contract for Internet access, with big penalties for early cancellation.

3. Web Cramming
You receive an invoice or charge on your phone bill for services you never accepted or agreed to.

4. Travel and Vacation Fraud
Fraudulent companies lie about their travel packages or hit you with hidden charges.

5. Investment Schemes and Get-Rich-Quick Scams
You may lose money using programs or services that claim to predict the market with 100% accuracy.

6. International Modem Dialing
Unbeknownst to you, your modem is disconnected, then reconnected through an international long-distance telephone number.

7. Credit Card Fraud
Fraudulent promoters ask for your credit card number for age verification, then run up charges on your card.

8. Multi-level Marketing (MLM) and Pyramid Scams
You buy into an MLM plan and find your only customers are other distributors, not the public.

9. Business Opportunities and Work-At-Home Scams
Con artists promise you big earnings, but can’t back them up.

10. Health Care Products and Services
Promoters offer “miracle cures” for your health problems.

Be sure to read up on these scams, the bait these “dot cons” use, the catch, and the “safety net” you need to avoid them.

And if you find you’ve been a victim of one of these scams, be sure to notify the FTC using their online complaint form.

Survey Reveals Internet Fraud On The Rise

CyberSource — a leading provider of mission-critical eCommerce transaction services — revealed in its second annual CyberSource Fraud 2000 Survey that 83% of the online merchants surveyed feel that online fraud is a problem. This is up from last year’s results of 75%.

61% of the e-merchants are taking more precautions this year than last year to prevent fraud this holiday season. Measures include employing a fraud screening solution and displaying a logo or icon from an online fraud solution provider on their sites to ease customers’ fears about shopping online. 81% of the e-merchants feel that online sales would increase if shoppers were not concerned about fraud. Their biggest challenge to managing online fraud is the loss of customer goodwill.

A past issue of ScamBusters covered E-Commerce Fraud .

The 809 Phone Scam is Back… Again

We’ve had several reports from observant viewers that the infamous 809 scam is making the rounds yet again, this time claiming to charge up to $2425 per-minute which, if you’ve been reading ScamBusters, you know isn’t true.

For the true story behind the 809 Scam — and the scam IS real — check out one of our 809 Scam issue.