Friday, June 17, 2011

What a clever scam!

Here is one of the most clever scams I've seen in a while.
  1. The link made it through all the spam filters on the way to my inbox, and looked like a mail from a friend (whose computer may be infested, or AOL's server is*). 
  2. It looks and for a while sounds like a genuine news article, not advertising. 
  3. Even the address looks like a genuine news site address. (But notice if you go to the home page, it's the same article.) 
  4. It cleverly inserts your own town in the article! (I got suspicious since I'm in England, but the numbers were in dollars.) 
  5. It warns against scams, which promise too much, thus implying it is different. 
However, it falls into the trap of promising too much itself. Making 10 to 15 grand per month while taking care of your young kids, on a turn-key business (unnamed) found ready-made on the Net? I don't think so! If they'd kept it to 2-3 grand, it would have been more believable. (Though still actually unlikely to be true.)

Of course, to me at least, at the moment when it linked to something called "Home Wealth Solutions", it was all blown to heck. From all I've seen and heard, the only people who make money on such concepts are the ones selling them! It's really amazing, all that talk about all the money one can make, without any mention of what one is supposed to be producing or selling! It's apparently magic money appearing out of thin air!

* Update: my friend wrote: "this has happened to my husband too, who works from a different computer and has an AOL account too. And all my contacts are on the AOL server not on my computer."

It is rather disturbing how many big companies have had their servers hacked recently, sometimes with millions of customers' personal data stolen. Sony, Gmail, AOL, etc etc. It really does not encourage a lot of trust.


emptyspaces said...

Well, sir, I am from Charlottesville, VA, and have never heard of Nicole Williams.

It is refreshing to see a new approach to such a scam. The article format works, and it's a nice touch to put the weather and stock feeds on the sidebar.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Exactly, very clever.
And their home page even has logos of the biggest news outlets near the top, which makes it look like they have been verified by articles in those outlets!

Bert said...

The news these days sure paint a grim future for cloud computing! It is quite disturbing to see how effective hackers appear to be against centralized data stores.

Sure, some of this can be blamed on operators, as in the Sony case where they reportedly were using obsolete security software, but they cannot all be incompetent.

I, for one, am not about to let go of my desktop computer and personal security setup, as restrictive as it may seem to be compared with cloud-based apps. I certainly can't picture any amount of extra convenience worth the hassle of being caught in a mess like that!

Captcha: bragus :-)

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, I agree. The dream of such computing is sweet, but it's nowhere near reality.