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Author Topic: New Scam or Old one?  (Read 2630 times)

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Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« on: February 04, 2022, 10:25 »
+1
Just got an email from a photographer friend, I've known him for many years.

Can you help me... OK I answered, I'll try.

"Thanks for responding, I am sorry for bothering you with this mail. I need to get a GOOGLE PLAY GIFT CARDS for my niece. Its her birthday but i can't do this now because the stores around here are out of stock and i tried purchasing online but unfortunately no luck with that. Can you get it from any store around you? I'll pay back. Kindly let me know if you can handle this?

Await your soonest response
Thanks
Rick"

Now I'm starting to get suspicious? I wrote back... I can't go until Noon and I'll bring them over to your house.

"You can get it at any Store around you like ( Target, CVS, Walmart, Walgreens or any grocery stores) Total amount needed is $300 Google play gift cards ($100 denomination). I will need you to scratch the back of the card to reveal the pin, then take a snapshot of the back showing the pin and have them email me and I can forward to her."

Oh no that's not going to happen. I wrote to Rick and realized he was a different address and the fake was an Outlook account, pretending to be Rick.

Last message was, "OK enough fun, this isn't Rick and I'm phoning him right now. I hope he notifies everyone he knows, along with the police."

What? Someone asking a friend to help get some gift cards for his Niece? It started innocent enough, but once the fake hit the scratch off and send the code, that was the end.

Just posting this in case it's something new and going to be hitting all over?

Await your soonest response I should have seen the red flag right there.  Now I see the spelling and formatting errors that someone who worked in the newspaper business wouldn't have made.




S2D2

« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2022, 10:51 »
+1
A friend of mine got either the same or a very similar email recently.

He was suspicious as he hadn't been in touch with the guy for years.

My friend found out from a mutual friend that the guy's account has been hacked and all the people in the address book have received similar emails.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2022, 10:54 by DO »

« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2022, 11:47 »
+1

« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2022, 11:56 »
0
This is a pretty common scheme. Here in Germany it happens most often when you want to sell some item  through online ads. The person pretends to be interested in the item, but asks you to buy a gift card for some random online service for him.

I am pretty surprised that anyone would fall for this and that this scheme is still going on, because if a code is all the person needs he can purchase a digital gift card online literally at any time anywhere from the world and digital gift cards are never out of stock. ::)
Also, I would never just buy something for a total stranger. At leats in this case the person claimed to be someone you know, but even so the scheme doesn't seem so well thought out, even thinking this was from a friend you spotted that there was something off. Now imagine a total stranger asking you to do this. Why would anyone fall for this?

« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2022, 12:14 »
+1
On this topic, I recommend this channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/ScammerPayback

Some of the interactions between this guy and the scammers are hilarious!  ;D

S2D2

« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2022, 13:23 »
0
This is a pretty common scheme. Here in Germany it happens most often when you want to sell some item  through online ads. The person pretends to be interested in the item, but asks you to buy a gift card for some random online service for him.

I am pretty surprised that anyone would fall for this and that this scheme is still going on, because if a code is all the person needs he can purchase a digital gift card online literally at any time anywhere from the world and digital gift cards are never out of stock. ::)
Also, I would never just buy something for a total stranger. At leats in this case the person claimed to be someone you know, but even so the scheme doesn't seem so well thought out, even thinking this was from a friend you spotted that there was something off. Now imagine a total stranger asking you to do this. Why would anyone fall for this?

Because it is purporting to be from someone you know in your email mailing list and not everyone who uses email is either young and/or aware and/or perceptive.

It is people with particular vulnerabilities who are most likely to be successfully scammed, and besides the three above, these areas can include loneliness and also being very busy so not reading the emails properly.

I think there are a miriad of reasons why people fall for the multitude of scams (including on dating sites) that are out there, so I don't see your 'why would anyone fall for this'.

Scammers are scum as far as I'm concerned.


Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2022, 16:20 »
+1
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/10/06/email-phishing-gamer-elderly/

It's an oldie.

Paywall article NYT. But just to be clear, it's a long time friend, not some random person. He didn't use the, "I lost my wallet in a foreign country" or one of those, "I was mugged and need plane fair to get home". But I thought the gift card for a Niece was kind of dumb to start with. On the other hand, he could have been someone who's not very adept at finding things at the local store?

I'm not sure someone needs to be elderly to fall for one of these? Once I started searching, the top article was UC Berkley and people pretending to be staff or professors.

Anyway, nice reminder that there are always people coming up with new ways to try to scam us. The email address part, I see so often, I just delete them. This guy I didn't look to see what his real one was. Well it's not Hotmail. End of that story.

I wonder if stealing email addresses, or I should say, spoofing email addresses and then phishing for kind friends is more profitable than Microstock.  ::)

Scammers are scum as far as I'm concerned.

Wouldn't we like a way to turn them in directly to the police?

Yeah, Craigslist I was selling an IBM server, local pickup only, for obvious reasons. So dope from across the country tried to pull the "My wife is sending a check, take the money for the computer and send the rest back to us." Which ends up being a bad check, the bank cashes, then the payment gets reversed from our account. Meanwhile we've shipped off the item and the money and have nothing.

I still get faxes from people needed money because they are escaping from a country. I thought fax was dead?

« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2022, 17:15 »
+1
When you go to the page, start hitting "escape" repeatedly to stop the paywall from loading ;) .

In this case, it was their pastor "sending" the email wanting gift cards for someone in the church or something.  The writer actually did end up sending $400 worth of codes to them.

« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2022, 19:06 »
0
yes i get these about once a month - sometimes they come from scraped email contacts or webpages, other times from facebook friends (where they steal pictures & setup an alternate account - usually tho, they're lazy & dont bother to fill out details)

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2022, 10:56 »
+2
When you go to the page, start hitting "escape" repeatedly to stop the paywall from loading ;) .

In this case, it was their pastor "sending" the email wanting gift cards for someone in the church or something.  The writer actually did end up sending $400 worth of codes to them.

Thanks for that, I never tried. Sometimes, like National Geographic, I go to the page, hit CTRL+A and then CTRL+C then paste it into word and read the article.

Yeah the variety is also amusing. I get one a week saying, your shipment couldn't be delivered, click here for the documents. What? They are writing to me, don't know my name and couldn't deliver and have to contact except email? Ignore

The other lately is something like; We have billed your account $###.## for the annual subscription, click here to view the invoice. Ignore.

I also still get something from places where I have no account or I use a different email for some, that says "Your account will be locked if you don't reply before the close of the day." Yeah, right, bite me, you aren't Paypal or some bank that I don't even have an account. Just phishing.

Which brings me to a generalization for any of these stories, for everyone, NEVER click a link in an email. Even if it's real and you know it's your real account. Go to the site from your browser. There are some pretty good fake addresses, with fake sites, that look real and they ask you to login, which means? They Own You! Account name and password.

I'm kind of happy to get a verification code on my phone now for many sites. Comforting to know if someone has my login name and PW, they still shouldn't be able to get into the account.

« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2022, 12:08 »
0
I have enabled the two factor authentication for all the sites that offer it as well. Esp my online banking. I'm glad they started doing this.

« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2022, 14:29 »
+1
I have had scam attempts from loads of places pretending to be from Amazon (saying my account would be locked) banks I don't even bank with and even HMRC (UK income tax) the latter saying I could claim a substantial tax rebate of over 600.
This kind of thing is so common that HMRC even have a dedicated section who deal with attempted scams. Needless to say I didn't fall for any of the scams but I can't help wondering how many people do.

« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2022, 15:08 »
+2
Yeah got this exact same one just before Christmas - thing that ratted it out was I just sent them a link to Amazon and said she could order it that way. When they insisted I go to the shop for it I figured it was off.


 

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