Saturday, December 14, 2013

Coal for Spammers & Phishers

imageTis the season for lots of activities, including an increasing amount of spam and phishing emails being sent. Yesterday, we received emails at our blog email and my email (both at Gmail) purportedly from a fellow blogger. We recognized this as a fake and deleted them and the email address it was sent from which was connected to the blog (after resuscitating from the trash). I decided to re-post it as a warning. It really made me very angry (does it show?).

It’s a shame that some unscrupulous folks have nothing better to do — isn’t Wal-Mart open 24 hours?

This is a FAKE phishing email (copied as received). IF you ever get anything similar, you should also DELETE it. I’ve omitted the blogger’s name AND blog name as I didn’t think it appropriate to include. The message is as received:

Subject: What a Terrible Experience!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (blogger’s name)

I Hope you get this on time, I made a trip to Ukraine and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and personal effects therein. The embassy has just issued me a temporary passport but I have to pay for a ticket and settle my hotel bills with the Manager.

I have made contact with my bank but it would take me 3-5 working days to access funds in my account, the bad news is my flight will be leaving very soon but I am having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let me leave until I settle the bills, I need your help/LOAN financially and I promise to make the refund once I get back home, you are my last resort and hope, All i need now is $2,650 USD Please let me know if I can count on you and I need you to keep checking your email because it's the only way I can reach you.


This blogger was on our sidebar list of blogs (but has since been deleted). After the phishing attempt, I left a message on the blog to alert the blogger that her email (at Gmail) had been hacked and quite possibly other bloggers had received this sham email. Last night, I clicked on the blog to check for a response. This is what displayed (again the blog name has been omitted):

Blog has been removed

Sorry, the blog at has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.

It’s a shame that the blogger had to end it, but most likely did it as a precautionary measure. Hopefully, another one will be created with a different email.

This is NOT the first time we’ve received phishing emails like this (certainly not the last). There was one supposedly from our credit card company last week. We contacted them and then forwarded the email to their fraud department. We suspect that keeping contacts listings online allows a higher risk of having them hacked. I previously had an online Yahoo contacts list online and it was hacked. I deleted it after sending everyone a message NOT to open/reply to any emails sent from it.

We DO NOT keep contacts online at Gmail, Yahoo, or Verizon and retain them on our devices.

Do you have a similar experience OR suggestions on preventative actions ?
Have you received similar scam/phishing emails ?

Rant over. Enjoy the weekend and for those who have snow in the forecast, be safe.


Sandra said...

i got this one yesterday and so did several other bloggers we all follow. the gmail was hacked. we saw it on TV FB and Google and Twitter was hacked from the Netherlands. they hack in and get the email addresses and send thes emails. she must have closed the blog, but i don't think it had any thing to do with the blog.

Montanagirl said...

Scary Stuff!! Thanks for heads up.

Lois Evensen said...

Yes, we get them regularly, sometimes several in a day. Click, trash.

Anonymous said...

I hate when that happens!
Someone has taken my blogs name as their g-mail address and did send spam to me!!!

I warned about it in my blog and I hope this person that did this doesn't use it to do criminal things. To be honest it was a mail doing pr for a kind of sneaker :-)

Have a great day!

Daisy said...

I've had trouble with the spammers too. It's so annoying.

A Quiet Corner said...

I haven't gotten any in a long time, but when I worked at the bank, we used to instruct our branch personnel to warn their customers...'it's the season!!!...:)JP

Out on the prairie said...

Pretty funky,never would think them somewhat legit to be a follower

DeniseinVA said...

I haven't had this one and, touching wood here, have not had any scams for a long time. Sorry you and the original blogger had to deal with it.

William Kendall said...

Sometimes they go in and hijack old blogs that were closed... and if you're still following them, suddenly you're being hit by dozens of posts about cars, travel, or lingerie in a blog that originally might have been about the writing process.

I get a fair amount of spam in my spam folders for my writer's blog... sometimes there's something amusing that I can use as fodder for a blog, particularly when it's the latest variation on ye olde Nigerian spammer.

Anvilcloud said...

That's nothing. I won a million $ lottery yesterday.

Rebecca said...

We've had a couple of those. Good thing I know they are fake.

barbara l. hale said...

Is that me you're talking about? Just wondering. I am not in the Ukraine, but I have been through hell the last couple of days with all of this. I think I have things restored to normal. I am sorry if this caused you any consternation although I was powerless to do anything to stop it.

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