Skip to main content

The ongoing stupidity of phishers

I now have four email accounts: Yahoo (the oldest since 1999), RoadRunner (nee Bright House), Google Mail (GMail), and my work email address. They make for interesting comparisons, specifically what kind and how much spam gets sent to each.

The Yahoo account, being the oldest, receives the largest quantity. It's not unusual to get over 50 spam emails/day. I use the Yahoo account as my 'trash' account when I'm signing up for technical information and when I'm placing orders on-line. I use my other accounts for various levels of personal communications with family, friends, and co-workers. I get various levels of spam email on the other two public accounts, and none (so far) on my work email.

Not only does the quantity vary between accounts, but the type of spam varies as well. The Yahoo accounts get a little of everything, including pr0n. The RoadRunner accounts seems to get a large percentage of penny stock investment scams, while the GMail account seems to get a large percentage of phishing spams. That phishing spam consists of warnings from the Federal Credit Union, eBay (a real favorite), PayPal, various banks such as Washington Mutual, and recently, a lot of warnings from Chase or Chase Manhattan.

The most recent spate started showing up Sunday, March 26th, and they all start out like this:
Your online credit card account has high-risk activity status. We are contacting you to remind that on March 27 2006 our Account Review Team identified some unusual activity in your account. In accordance with Chase Bank User Agreement and to ensure that your account has not been compromised, access your account was limited. Your account access will remain limited until this issue has been resolved.
That's a wonderfully scary opening. There's just two problems with this opening, however. The first and biggest blunder is that I received this second warning a day before the first was supposedly sent. The second is I don't have an account with Chase Manhattan. Never had, as a matter of fact.

And of course, I've gotten multiple copies of the same email, all on the same date and all with the same message. I even got the same exact email from, where Chase Bank was replaced with PayPal.

The other peculiarity I've noted is that the number of phishing emails dropped quite a bit through most of March. They've been replaced with on-line pharmacy scams. There was even a spate of phishing emails from Chase Manhattan promising to pay me $20 if I took an on-line survey. Of course, you should (obviously) be able to take this survey only once.

The fact that these spam still show up are a good indication that there are still people falling for these type of phishing attacks. Sending out spam is still a no-cost way of casting for victims, and all it takes is a few in a large operation to make it worthwhile. And I'll bet that a 'few' victims actually numbers into the thousands. I just don't intend to be one of the many.


This came floating in today."Chase Bank Account is fraudulent and it will be suspended" screams the subject. It goes on to say:
You have received this E-mail because you or someone else had used your Account from different locations. For security purposes, we required to open an investigation on this matter.

Oh my! What am I going to do? The email ends with:
If we do not receive the appropriate Account Verification within 48 hours , we will assume this Chase Bank Account is fraudulent and it will be suspended.
Wow! Those guys are tough! Too bad I don't have an account with them. I'd feel so ... safe if I did. They also need to polish the grammar up a bit, especially in the opening sentences. It's tough writing well. I'm certainly no shining example, but I do know good grammar when I read it. Bad grammar blows their 'cover' every time. I'm especially driven to grind my teath when I read sentences that have improper tense or missing words. But their efforts are entertaining.


Popular posts from this blog

A Decade Long Religious Con Job

I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.

What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.

A quick check via Google leads to an article written in 2010 by the Orlando Sentinel about the Majesty Tower. Based on what I read in the article it's owned by SuperChannel 55 WA…

Be Careful of Capital One Mailings

Capitol One ("What's in your wallet?") sent me a bit of deceptive snail mail today. I felt sure it was a credit card offer, and sure enough, it was. I open all credit card offers and shred them before putting them in the trash. Normally I just scan the front to make sure I don't miss anything; the Capital One offer made me stop for a moment and strike a bit of fear into my heart.

The letter's opening sentence read:
Our records as of December 30, 2009 indicate your Capital One Platinum MasterCard offer is currently valid and active.Not paying close attention during the first reading, I quickly developed this irrational worry that I was actually on the hook for something important, but I wasn't quite sure what. The letter listed "three ways to reply" at the bottom; via phone, the internet, and regular snail mail. I elected to call.

Once I reached the automated phone response system, the first entry offered was '1', to "activate my Capital …

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…