We had intended to continue weekly with our web developer checklist. However, this week we’re presenting this post because so many people are receiving these bogus scam messages trying to trick them into paying an extortion.
This scam we mentioned quite a while ago. It has continued to pick up steam – plowing its way through every part of the Internet. It IS a SCAM. Do NOT pay it. We’ve had numerous people contact us that they are receiving such messages.
Here is is below in English and Chinese:
You may have noticed that I sent an email from your account.
This means I have full access to your device.
I have been watching it for a few months.
The truth is that you are infected with malware through an adult website you have visited.
If you are not familiar with this, I will explain.
I created high quality spyware. It allows me to gain full access and control over your device.
This means I can see everything on the screen, turn on the camera and microphone, but you don’t know.
I can also access all your contacts and all communications.
Why is your antivirus software not detecting malware?
Answer: My malware uses the driver, I update the signature every 4 hours so that your anti-virus software is silent.
I made a video showing how you can satisfy yourself in the left half of the screen, and in the right half you will see the video you watched.
One Key! All of your contacts in email and social networks will receive this video! Your life will change forever!
I can also post access to all email communications and messengers you use.
If you want to stop this ʌ
Transfer the $362 amount to my bitcoin address (if you don’t know how to do this, please write to Google: “Buy Bitcoin”).
My bitcoin address (BTC wallet) is: *********************************
After receiving the payment, I will delete the video and you will never hear my voice again.
I will give you 50 hours (more than 2 days) to pay.
I received a notification from this letter and the timer will work when you see the letter.
It doesn’t make sense to file a complaint somewhere because it can’t be tracked like my Bitcoin address.
I have not made any mistakes.
If I find that you shared this message with others, the video will be distributed immediately.
Good luck, goodbye!
一键！ 您在电子邮件和社交网络中的所有联系人都将收到此视频！ 你的生活将永远改变！
AND IT IS IN MANY OTHER LANGUAGES AS WELL!
Last week I wrote about possible dangers of “FREE” offerings.
While verbiage varies, the end result is the same if you follow their link: headaches of an unimaginable magnitude for you!
Here’s an example of many I see each day in our company emails:
Dear firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Your mailbox quota is full.
This may cause your mailbox to be disabled or you may no longer be able to receive more emails
to continue using your mailbox. You will need to upgrade your mailbox quota immediately. This service is free.
Re-update your account
Note: Failure to update your account might lead to permanent deactivation of your account.
The Security team. 2019
Clicking lands you on an extremely convincing page. One wanting me to enter my email login information even had “© 2018 CharlesWorks” in it.
These work based on two principles: Offering the FREE “we’ll fix it” service and threat of imminent services loss. Together they convince you to bite. Especially that sense of urgency! Remember the world isn’t going to halt if you don’t act right away – it can wait until you deal with it properly.
Companies don’t have you “verify” your email account this way. If anything seems fishy concerning your email, call your email provider and ask for assistance. That’s what you pay them for!
It surprises me how many people still fall for anything with “FREE” attached to it. We shockingly still see “free counters” on many websites. They’ve been around as long as the web. Newbie web users still get fascinated by counters showing site visitor numbers.
There are problems with some freebies. If you visit a website and see that 3 people have visited it, that doesn’t exactly instill confidence in the site.
An aesthetic issue is that really nice, elegant looking websites don’t usually have counters. So site visitors aren’t distracted by traffic to the site. In fact, site counters are simply not that much in fashion these days.
Another problem is that many free counters are actually security risks. For an example, I recently read about a “Free SuperCounter Widget” that many have been using. It redirects site visitors to other sites (like dating and gambling and so on). So folks installing this counter were unwittingly sending site visitors away from their site.
Even more insidious is where the counter loads malware/viruses into the website – infecting site visitors as well.
The bottom line here: Yet another simple lesson about getting what you pay for. If your site has been infected, contact us or your developer for help.
With 20+ years in the web business, scams and schemes to steal from people still amaze me.
Several web clients have made me aware of a scam to frighten them into making a bitcoin payment.
They’re from addresses like “Anonymous Hacker” or even your own email. Subjects are “You have been hacked” or similar. They gloat they’ve infected you through some (usually unsavory) site you visited. They explain how they did it in terms most folks don’t understand – making you think they are really an expert – and frighten you into believing they’re monitoring your computer.
They threaten to send very personal items and even videos of you to everyone you know unless you comply with the demand within some short time period. They warn if you report them, they’ll distribute the “dirt” on you immediately.
We try to force these messages to spam on our servers. Sometimes they get through. We reassure several people each week they are a scam because they usually are.
However, devices DO get hacked. If you truly believe you’ve been hacked, you should see your IT person or someone who specializes in “cleaning” computers ASAP. We can recommend folks who can help.
We get many questions about spam (Junk E-mail). Spam clutters up your email. It’s also used to deliver online scams and malware/viruses.
A common question is “Any idea of why I’m seeing spam emails in my Inbox?” Spammers most likely got your email address from your friends or acquaintances – people you know and correspond with – whose computers or phones were compromised. Their contact lists get added to the spammers lists. Spammers also get emails from when we purchase online and from finding email addresses on websites.
Spam is difficult to avoid. One way to handle it is to hit the delete key. That’s much the same as just throwing junk mail away that’s delivered by the mail carrier.
However, spam email can be filtered. The good news is that better than 98% can be filtered into a junk email folder.
One filtering problem is determining which are actually spam – Home Depot, Lowe’s, Staples or other vendors are spam to many and not spam to others. Good mail servers allow users to “mark” items as not spam in that case.
There are numerous email servers that behave in just as many ways handling spam. If spam is an issue, check with your email provider about your options for handling it.
Charles Oropallo (Charles@CharlesWorks.com) started CharlesWorks in Peterborough NH in 1998. His team does website design, hosting, search engine optimization (SEO) and related web services.