Ziggy, German spam, scams and more: Internet ScamBusters #128
Since the summer season is about to unofficially begin, we decided to make today's issue short. You'll find these 4 ScamBusters Snippets -- the first and last are designed to give you a chuckle:
|[License for Ziggy cartoon has expired so the cartoon was removed.]
On the Lighter Side...
You know a scam is pervasive when a cartoon character gets taken.
Ziggy references the Nigerian fee scam
- German Hate Spam Overwhelms Email Inboxes
- Is This a Scam?
- Today's Limerick
Let's get going...
Way back when, we were one of the very first publications to break the story about the Nigerian fee scam on the Internet. At the time, we did a huge number of newspaper, magazine and radio interviews on this topic (and have continued to do these interviews over the years).
So, when we saw the May 17th version of Ziggy that had him at the Acme Loan company, we simply had to license it for our ScamBusters website. The loan officer asks if he has any other references for his loan besides the Nigerian General's widow.
Sorry we can no longer share this cartoon with you.
German Hate Spam Overwhelms Email Inboxes
As you've probably discovered, there has been a huge amount of spam written entirely in German clogging inboxes in the past week.
We have friends who have been receiving 300 to 600 per hour!
Since many people in the US don't read German, most didn't realize that most of this spam actually contains hate mail.
It was sent piggybacking on the recent Sober worm. PCs that were infected by the Sober worm were used to send these messages filled with Neo-nazi propaganda.
Action: As always, delete. Do not open or click on the links.
Is This a Scam?
We get a LOT of support form questions where subscribers tell us about an email they receive that is very similar -- but not identical -- to a scam we wrote about, and they want to know if their variant is a scam.
For example, the most popular question of this type is about a foreign lottery scam. The details are often the same or similar, but the lottery may be in South Africa instead of Australia, England or the Netherlands, as we describe.
Answer: Yes, it's a scam. There are thousands -- if not tens or hundreds of thousands -- of variants of most popular scams. We can't possibly write about each one.
Important: Our goal is to help you understand the *principles* related to each type of scam we write about. Please realize that the details can vary widely. So even if the details are different, it's still a scam -- you don't need to ask.
We thought we'd end this issue like we started -- on a light note.
Thanks to Ian for sending this limerick in response to last week's hoax about legislating the value of Pi:
It's long been an ambition of mine
A new value for "pi" to assign
I would fix it at three
For that's simpler you see
Then three point one four one five nine.
You can see the original hoax in last week's issue on our Top 10 List of History's Greatest Internet Hoaxes -- it is #8.
That's all for today. Wishing you a happy -- and safe -- week.