New Scam Twists
Do scamsters ever sleep? Probably not--at least based on the number of alerts that continue to be issued about one pernicious scheme after the other.
I hope that also means Americans may be less gullible and notify law enforcement agencies about the scams when they see them. But I doubt it.
Here are two of the most recent alerts:
* The Internet Crime Complaint Center says consumers need to be wary of unsolicited cellphone text messages thanking you for subscribing to a dating service. The cost is $2 a day, which will be billed automatically to your cellphone bill. Of course you can cancel--by going to the service's Web site.
But that's the catch, IC3 says: By canceling, you could end up harming your computer. When you visit the Web site, you are asked to enter your cellphone number and are then given the option to run a program that is supposed to remove your subscription to the dating service.
However, here's what really happens, according to IC3: "When the run option is selected on the Web site, the executable adds several files to the host and changes registry settings to open a back-door port and lower Windows security settings. The host file is modified to prevent the victim from browsing to popular anti-virus Web sites. The executable also turns the infected computer into a "zombie" network, which can be remotely controlled by the hackers."
* Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe says there's a new wrinkle to phishing scams because so many consumers now know they should not respond to e-mails asking for personal information over the Internet. As a result, the latest phishing schemes are no longer asking consumers to respond by e-mail by clicking on a fake Web site link. In fact, there are no links at all. Instead consumers are asked to call a phone number to verify their account.
An automated system answers and asks for a 16-digit credit-card number for verification. If you enter an incorrect card number, "a request for re-entry is made, further enhancing the legitimacy of this fraudulent telephone number" noted SophosLabs, a network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers that first disclosed this scam. So far, these phishing e-mails purport to come from PayPal. "Users that type in their card information may think they're verifying their PayPal account, but, in actual fact, they're handing their details over to cyber criminals on a plate," said Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley.
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