Monday, November 30, 2009

"Your E-MailBox Has Exceeded Storage Limit!" - - A Hoax Email Scam to Steal Personal Login Details


Beware! Its Cyber World - - Summary:


Email claims that the user's email account has exceeded its storage limit and instructs him or her to reply with the account username and password in order to increase the mailbox size and restore full functionality.

In fact, this is an attempt to steal the login details, username and password, from the targeted victims to use this information for malicious intentions; as it was attempted many time before using different wordings and various stories.

Beware of messages that ask you to send email account login details to rectify a problem. They are likely to be scams designed to steal login information

Before we have a detailed look at this attempt; let's go through the contents of the mail given below:

===========================================

From: System Administrator
Subject: RE; Your E-MailBox Has Exceeded Storage Limit!


Attention:

RE; Your E-MailBox Has Exceeded Storage Limit!

Your Emailbox has exceeded the storage limit. You may not be able to send or receive new mail until your mailbox size is increased by your System Administrator.

To help us re-set increase the size on our database prior to maintain your Mailbox, you must contact your system administrator via Email with these informations, to increase your storage limit automatically. You do not need to be present at our Office.

Username: ................
Password:.................

You will continue to receive this warning message periodically if your inbox size continues to exceed its size limit or between 18MB and 20 MB.

=======================================

Beware! Its Cyber World - - Explanation:

This message, which purports to be from the "System Administrator", claims that the recipient's email account has exceeded its storage limit and the sending and receiving of email may therefore be disrupted. The message instructs the recipient to reply to the email with his or her username and password so that the "System Administrator" can reset the account and increase the size of the database storage limit.

However, the message is not from the "System Administrator" or anyone else at the account holder's email service provider. Instead, the message is a phishing scam designed to trick recipients into handing over their web mail login details to Internet criminals.

Those who reply to the message with their login details as instructed will in fact be handing over access to their webmail account to scammers who can then use it as they see fit. Once in their victim's email account, these criminals can then use the account to send spam messages, or in many cases, send other kinds of scam emails.

Scammers often use such compromised email accounts to launch instances of the "stranded friend" scam. In this scam, criminals use a hijacked email account to send out messages to everyone on the account's contact list. These emails claim that the account holder is stranded in a foreign country without money or resources due to a robbery. They ask the recipient to send money urgently to help their "friend" return home. Because the messages are being sent from the hacking victim's own webmail address and are likely to include his or her real name and email signature, at least a few recipients are likely to believe the claims in the email and send money as requested. Of course, any money sent will be pocketed by the criminals running the scam. Meanwhile, the real owner of the compromised account may not even be aware that his or her account is being used for such nefarious purposes.

Webmail accounts sometimes do exceed their allotted quota and some mail systems may send out automated messages informing their users of this. However, no mail administration system is ever likely to ask users to send their username and password via an email in order to fix an over-quota account. Users can normally remedy the problem of an over-quota account themselves by simply logging in and freeing up room by deleting unnecessary emails.

Scammers regularly use such tactics to steal login information. Some scam emails may claim that the user must submit login details to prove his or her identity after a system upgrade. Others, like the one discussed here, claim that there is a problem with the account and the user must send login information so that the "problem" can be rectified. Be wary of any unsolicited message that asks you to supply your webmail login details by replying to an email. All such requests are likely to be scams.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ATM Credit Card of US $800,000.00 From Master Card Award Team Sent Trough UPS

Hi, here I come with another "to-good-to-be-true" offer from my unknown well wisher; who has already sent my US $800,000.00 ATM Credit Card through UPS. Isn't it funny??? I don't know this guy, Dr. Darren Mark, who is giving me this good news through following email:

=========================================

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: YOUR ATM CREDIT CARD (dr.darrenmark@yahoo.com)
Sent: Sat, November 28, 2009 3:36:30 AM
Subject:



Dear Customer/Beneficiary!!!

We have been waiting for you to contact us for your master card
worth of Eight Hundred Thousand United State Dollars $800,000.00
United States Dollars,But We did not hear from you. Then we had
to deposit the Master Card with (United Parcel Service) UPS. We
apologies for not updating you ever since because, we just noticed
your email address in our record.

Due to the fact that we are in possession of your Package containing
a master card worth of Eight Hundred Thousand United State Dollars
that was registered with our company. The Master Card Award Team for
shipment to you, You are to act fast by providing your Name, postal
address and your direct phone number to enable us make the delivery ASAP.

Notice: As soon as our Delivery Team confirms your informations,it will
take only two working days (48 hours) for your package to arrive your
designated address. For your information, the Mail, VAT & Shipping fees
have been paid by the Award Promo Board you will only have to pay a sum of
$175.00 to the Ups Courier Department Ups Courier as stated in our
privacy terms & condition page.

Note that the United Parcel Service would not accept to deliver you Parcel,
before you make the payment of $175.00 to them. Below is the contact
information for United Parcel Service (UPS) Nigeria West Africa.

Dispatch Manager: Mr.Wilson Parker
Tel: +234-805-947-0976
Customer Service Unit
Ups Courier Express NG©
=================================
COPYRIGHT © 2009 MasterCard®.
=================================

----------------------------------------------------------------
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.


======================================

This is the second mail of the same content; as I got an alike mail few days back. As soon as I received the above mail, I decided to share it with my readers; so that the every possible internet user can be saved from this kind of cyber victimization.

Just go through the following mail that I received few days back:

=====================================



----- Forwarded Message ----
From: TNT DELIVERY SERVICE (info@tnt.com)
Sent: Wed, November 25, 2009 3:03:00 AM
Subject:


Good day,

I just want to inform you that I have deposited your ATM MASTER CARD of
USD $800,000,00 United state dollars to the TNT Delivery services here
in West Africa, due to I have waited enough to hear from you so that
your funds will be transferred through CENTRAL BANK OF AFRICA (COA)
here, but because of the late response I now decide to deposit the ATM
MASTER CARD with the tnt delivery services with your previous
information as you listed it that time.

I have paid to them their delivery charges & insurance coverage fee,
the only fee to be paid again is their security safe keeping fee of $150
only.I would have paid that but they said no because they don't
know when you will contact them and in case of demurrage.

I will be travelling to IRAQ to see my boss and I will not come back
till next month,Therefore I will advise you to
contact the tnt shipment officer with his contact information as
listed below for the avoidiance of increase of their security safe keeping
fee.

Note that I packaged the ATM MASTER CARD inside a magazine where nobody
will notice the content, I also told the shipment officer Mr.Jude Vanna,
that it is ordinary African magazine I want to deliver to my friend
abroad to avoid further delay unless you delay to send their security
safe keeping fee.

Below is the shippment officer contact information including his email
address with the parcel reference number, note that without you
indicating your parcel number as listed below the tnt delivery
services will not listen to you they will be
imagining if you want to steal another persons parcel.

Attention: Dr George Moor Shipment Officer Of Tnt delivery services Nigeria
E-mail: tntcustomerservice@rocketmail.com
Tel: +234 703 607 0073
Shipment Code: CPEL/OWN/9876
Parcel Number: EG2272

Also below is the information they need to deliver the ATM MASTER CARD
in form of African Magazine to your address, this is to avoid wrong
delivery as i already gave them your delivery address but you have to
re-confirm it to them ok.

Full name....................
Home address..
Country....................
Telphone...............

Please make sure the information is complete as they promised that once
they receive their security safe keeping fee within 2 to 3 working
days the magazine will arrived your door step according to the shipment
officer.

Once again, the tnt delivery services do not know the content of the
parcel, I registered it as an African magazine they don't know it
contains ATM MASTER CARD inside, this is to avoid them delaying the
delivery and besides I don't want you to lose your
inherittance funds.

Your ATM MASTER CARD withdrewing access pin code number is (0114) take
note, once you receive the card you take it to any cashpoint around your
area and sllotten it and enter the pin code for withdrewal, the amount
you are to withdrew per day is USD$20,000.00. (Twenty thousand United
State dollars) each day. Also ask them on how you are to make the
payment for the security fee to them so they can
effect immedaite delivery on your parcel.

Remain blessed and enjoy your funds.

Thanks.
Barrister Greg Williams.




Good day,

I just want to inform you that I have deposited your ATM MASTER CARD of
USD $800,000,00 United state dollars to the TNT Delivery services here
in West Africa, due to I have waited enough to hear from you so that
your funds will be transferred through CENTRAL BANK OF AFRICA (COA)
here, but because of the late response I now decide to deposit the ATM
MASTER CARD with the tnt delivery services with your previous
information as you listed it that time.

I have paid to them their delivery charges & insurance coverage fee,
the only fee to be paid again is their security safe keeping fee of $150
only.I would have paid that but they said no because they don't
know when you will contact them and in case of demurrage.

I will be travelling to IRAQ to see my boss and I will not come back
till next month,Therefore I will advise you to
contact the tnt shipment officer with his contact information as
listed below for the avoidiance of increase of their security safe keeping
fee.

Note that I packaged the ATM MASTER CARD inside a magazine where nobody
will notice the content, I also told the shipment officer Mr.Jude Vanna,
that it is ordinary African magazine I want to deliver to my friend
abroad to avoid further delay unless you delay to send their security
safe keeping fee.

Below is the shippment officer contact information including his email
address with the parcel reference number, note that without you
indicating your parcel number as listed below the tnt delivery
services will not listen to you they will be
imagining if you want to steal another persons parcel.

Attention: Dr George Moor Shipment Officer Of Tnt delivery services Nigeria
E-mail: tntcustomerservice@rocketmail.com
Tel: +234 703 607 0073
Shipment Code: CPEL/OWN/9876
Parcel Number: EG2272

Also below is the information they need to deliver the ATM MASTER CARD
in form of African Magazine to your address, this is to avoid wrong
delivery as i already gave them your delivery address but you have to
re-confirm it to them ok.

Full name....................
Home address..
Country....................
Telphone...............

Please make sure the information is complete as they promised that once
they receive their security safe keeping fee within 2 to 3 working
days the magazine will arrived your door step according to the shipment
officer.

Once again, the tnt delivery services do not know the content of the
parcel, I registered it as an African magazine they don't know it
contains ATM MASTER CARD inside, this is to avoid them delaying the
delivery and besides I don't want you to lose your
inherittance funds.

Your ATM MASTER CARD withdrewing access pin code number is (0114) take
note, once you receive the card you take it to any cashpoint around your
area and sllotten it and enter the pin code for withdrewal, the amount
you are to withdrew per day is USD$20,000.00. (Twenty thousand United
State dollars) each day. Also ask them on how you are to make the
payment for the security fee to them so they can
effect immedaite delivery on your parcel.

Remain blessed and enjoy your funds.

Thanks.
Barrister Greg Williams.



==============================================

Don't forget to share such type of experiences here with us. Your comments and suggestions will be appreciated.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Winning Notification" of £1,000,000GBP From Euro-Millions Lottery - - A New Scam Hit My Inbox Today

One more "Winning Notification", I received this morning, enough to make me crazy; as this time I won £1,000,000GBP. I'll appreciate if someone can guide me that "how these cybercriminals managed to find the mail addresses of their prospective targets like me."

Another concern I just mentioned in my last article that how these cyber bad boys managed to use the name and domain name of big names in the world. In my last article the domain name of "microsoft.com" was used to make the targets believe the reality of the mail and now the other gourp of cybercriminals with same intentions, used domain name of "up.edu". When I tried to search this site through Google search, I surprised to see the result because this time these bad guys used the domain name of "The University of Portland" with website URL of www.up.edu

This time the name used to convince the targets was "Euro-Millions Lottery". I even don't know whether this lottery exist or not, then how it's possible to participate and its even ridiculous to win without participation. What do you say???

Let's see the subjected mail from cyber culprits hereunder:

============================================

From: "Tran, Hien" (tranh@up.edu)
Sent: Wed, November 25, 2009 12:43:35 AM
Subject: Congratulations!!!

We are happy to inform you that your email address have emerged winner of £1,000,000GBP only in Euro-Millions Award. The online cyber draws was conducted from an exclusive list of 15,000,000 email addresses of individuals and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer selection from the web. you are to Contact Mr. Patrick Gomez With your Full Name, Address, Country and Tel:
for claims.
Mr. Patrick Gomez
Tel:++44-702-401-9841
Email:department.claim20@dishmail.net
Mrs. Anna Rolland
Euro-Millions Lottery

==================================

Your comments and suggestions will add the effect that I want to put in my effort to save internet users from any kind of cyber victimization. Hope to see some positive comments from all my readers.



Beware! Another Lottery Scam Hit The Cyber World With The Name of "Microsoft Lottery International"



As I have shared many juicy emails with my readers; in which I won millions of dollars, Euro and pound sterling, but never received a single penny in my account or hand. Cybercriminals just knocked my door to tell me that I, the luckiest person in the world, have again won GBP 5,500,000.00 POUNDS in cash which is approximately $10.4 MILLION US DOLLARS.

This time these cyber cowboys used the name of "Microsoft Lottery International". One thing is just beyond my understanding, as I'm not a internet or computer specialist, how these bad peoples manage to use the domain name of "microsoft.com" for sending such malicious mails. If anyone of my reader can clarify this point; it will be great help for all internet users with which they can save themselves from such cyber victimization.

Let's go through the mail contents; I received yesterday only.


===============================================

From: Microsoft Lottery International
(info.mswlottowin2009@microsoft.com)
Sent: Tue, November 24, 2009 3:35:52 AM
Subject: ELECTRONIC MAIL AWARD WINNING NOTIFICATION




FROM: THE DESK OF THE E-MAIL PROMOTIONS MANAGER,
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT
MICROSOFT WORD LOTTERY,UK
61-70 Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, LONDON, United Kingdom, WC1B 4AR
DIRECTOR:MR. KENT ANDERSON.



REF NO: MSW-L/200-26937
BATCH: 2005MJL-01



ELECTRONIC MAIL AWARD WINNING NOTIFICATION



!!!!CONGRATULATIONS!!! !!!TO!!! !!!YOU!!!!!!!!!!



We are pleased to inform you of the announcement today of winners of
the MSW MEGA JACKPOT LOTTO WINNINGS PROGRAMS held on 9TH NOVEMBER, 2009.



Your company or your personal e-mail address, is attached to winning
number 20-09SEP-2009-02MSW, with serial number S/N-00168 drew the lucky
numbers 887-13-865-37-10-83, and consequently won in the first lottery
category.



You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of
GBP5,500,000.00 POUNDS in cash which is approximately $10.4 MILLION US
DOLLARS credited to file REF NO: MSW-L/200-26937. This is from total
prize money of GBP 27,500,000.00 POUNDS, shared among the Twenty
(5)international winners in this category.



All participants were selected through our microsoft computer ballot
system drawn form 21,000 names,3,000 names from each continent, as part
of International 'E-MAIL' Promotions Program, which is conducted
annually for our prominent MS WORD user all over the world, and for the
continues use of E-mail.



Your fund has been deposited in an escrow account and insured with
your REF NO: MSW-L/200-26937 and your E-mail address, Please note that,
you are to contact us via email and not phone as we are promoting the use
of E-mail, any communications with this office should be by mail, You
have the right to call the bank, as we will provide you with the
necessary details on how to claim your prize. You are to keep your ref.
and batch numberS from the public, until you have been processed and
your money remitted to your account.



This is part of our security protocol to avoid wrong claiming and the
act of scamming people of their ref number and prizes. We hope with a
part of your prize, you will participate in our year high stakes US$1.3
billion International Lottery.



To claim your winning prize, you must first contact the claims
department by email for processing and remittance of your prize money to you.



The claims officer contact email is:

CLAIMS OFFICER : DR DANNY KC BLAIR

E-m@il : fidicialdesk9_paycenter_msw@live.com

TEL#: +44-704-570-2409.



** WINNERS must claim their winning prize before the 30th NOVEMBER, 2009.


All funds not claimed on or before the fixed date will be penalised
accordingly.



THIS SHOULD BE COMPLETED BY THE BENEFICIARY OF THE STATED FUND, FOR
VERIFICATION BEFORE TRANSFER.

BENEFICIARY FIRST NAME-------------
BENEFICIARY LAST NAME--------------
RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS----------------
DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH------------
TEL. NUMBER------------------------
FAX NUMBER-------------------------
EMAIL ADDRESS----------------------
NEXT OF KIN NAME AND ADDRESS-------
AMOUNT WON-------------------------
BATCH NUMBER-----------------------
REFERENCE N?-----------------------
OCCUPATION-------------------------
MARITAL STATUS----------------------



NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please
remember to quote your reference and batch numbers in all
correspondences with your claims officer.



Do not reply any other mails
like this on
net as they are alot of scam artists out there pretending to be us. You
may see mails like this do not reply. Do contact your claims officer
DR DANNY KC BLAIR , at once by email. You will be asked to provide
some details to enable us proceed file keeping.



Congratulations!! Oncemore.

Yours Faithfully,


MRS. PATRICIA LAWRENCE.
LOTTERY CO-ORDINATOR/ANNOUNCER.



NOTE: YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO KEEP ALL YOUR WINNING CONFIDENTIAL
TILL CLAIM IS MADE TO AVOID WRONG CLAIMING.ANY BREACH OF CONFIDENCIALITY
DISQUALIFIES YOU FROM GETTING YOUR PRIZE.



NOTE: Do not reply this mail. You are to contact your claims officer
immediately.



CHIEF SPONSOR;
MICROSOFT CORPORATIONS

copyright 2009 by Microsoft Corporations All Rights
Reserved.

=========================================================

I'll appreciate the comments from my readers about this post; that will encourage me and guide the other readers about the dark side of Cyber World.



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Fight Against Cybercrime" - - A Workshop on Tackling Cybercrime Both Nationally And Internationally Has Opened in Baku, Azerbaijan


The workshop on the "Fight Against Cybercrime" is organized by the Technical Assistance Information Exchange, an arm of the EU's Enlargement directorate.

Elmir Velizade, deputy minister for communications and information technology of Azerbaijan, said that the main goal of the seminar is to strengthen cooperation against cybercrime at the national and international levels.

“The Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime has already come into force in Azerbaijan," Velizade said. "This workshop will help us take the next moves in mapping out action on the convention. Representatives of government agencies involved in applying the convention have been invited to the workshop. We think that the two days of debates will cover organizational, legislative and technical issues, and international contacts. Advanced experience on these issues will be presented at the workshop. The event will be interesting for both the European and Azerbaijani sides and will help develop further partnership in future.”

The workshop will discuss European legislation on cybercrime, including the 2001 Convention on Cybercrime, the Framework Decision on Attacks Against Information Systems, the Decision on the Fight against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography and other measures to combat crime on the net. The workshop will also look at effective cooperation with Internet providers and Internet communities in tackling cybercrime.

The workshop is taking place on the recommendation of the Council of Europe. It is being attended by experts of the Academy of European Law and will last until 25 November.

Azerbaijan acceded to the Convention on Cybercrime in 2008, and the Milli Majlis ratified it this September.

Monday, November 23, 2009

U.S Department of Defense Under Siege From Cybercriminals

The U.S Department of Defense has reportedly suffered an explosion in the number of cyber attacks conducted against its infrastructure for the year 2009. As per U.S. congressional committee, the number of cyber attacks against the DOD have substantially increased for this year and a majority of them have originated from China.

The data for this report was provided to the Senate committee by the U.S Strategic Command, and as per the newly released figures, the first half of this year alone, 43,785 cyber attacks were recorded against different components of the Department of Defense. According to the estimates, if the the cyber attacks keep their current momentum, the U.S DOD might just witness a 60% increase than the last year.

Furthermore, the committee has also stated that, the Department of Defense has so far spent $100 million to ensure the safety of its systems from cyber attacks, especially during the period between September 2008 and March 2009. the attacks on the defense department have picked up pace in the last few years and due to the fact that, the DOD is able to detect and repel these attacks, the U.S Strategic Command has been able to pile this huge data.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

MSN Will Charge Customers for Email Services - - Reality of MSN Forward 18 Contacts Hoax Warning


Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

Message warns that users will have to pay for MSN and email accounts unless they send the warning to at least 18 contacts.

This is absolutely false and these hoax messages are just more variants in a long line of similar hoaxes that warn that MSN is about to start charging for its free services. They also claim that the MSN user's account will be closed unless he or she forwards the message on to 18 or more people.


The mail may be somewhat like the one presented here:

==========================================

Hey, people.

Sorry to break the news, but looks like all of those warnings were real!!!!! :o !!! The use of MSN and e-mail will cost money from Summer 2009 onwards. If you Send this message to 18 different people from your list, your little MSN Icon will turn blue and that will make it free for you. If you don't believe Me, go on to (www.msn.com) and see it yourself. Don't forward this message, But copy and paste it so that people will actually read it!!!!!!

It is Andy and John - the directors of MSN - sorry for the interruption, but MSN is really closing down. This is because too many inconsiderate people Are taking up all the names (e.g.. Making up lots of different accounts for Just one person), and we are only left with 578 names.

If you would like to close your account, DO NOT SEND THIS MESSAGE ON. But, If you would like to keep your account, then SEND THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE ON YOUR CONTACT LIST. This is no joke, as we Will be shutting down the Servers. Send it on, thanks.

WHOEVER DOES NOT SEND THIS MESSEAGE, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE CLOSED AND IT WILL COST YOU 100.00 (pending) A MONTH TO USE. SEND THIS TO EVERYONE ON YOUR CONTACT LIST. NOW YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO. PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD THIS OR REPLAY. COPY THE WHOLE E-MAIL. RETURN TO YOUR INBOX AND CLICK ON NEW. THEN PASTE 'THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION'.

Hey everyone, I don't normally send this sort of stuff out, but I had a Look on the Internet and its actually true that by the 30th November, we WILL have to pay for the use of our MSN and e-mail account(s), unless we Send this message to at least 18 contacts on our contact list.

It's no joke, but if you don't believe me, then you can see for yourself -Go to the site (http://news.BBC.co.UK/1/hi/business/1189119.stm) - and See For yourself.

========================================

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

From time to time, pranksters come up with an updated and equally untrue version of the message that includes a new deadline set for a date in the near future. Another version began circulating back in 2005 and is still hitting inboxes several years on. Even earlier versions have specifically targeted Hotmail users.

All versions are equally nonsensical and have no basis in fact. If MSN was considering implementing a charge for its standard MSN Messenger and email services, it would certainly not base its decision on how many times a particular message was sent to others. Such claims are simply ridiculous.

And, even in the vastly improbable event that MSN somehow only had 578 names available, it certainly would not attempt to remedy the problem by asking customers to forward an email. Online services such as MSN have sophisticated and precise methods of checking the activity levels of accounts that do not require the account holder to reply to or forward a specific message. While online service providers may sometimes choose to delete accounts that have not been active for long periods, they do not force clients to send on ridiculous email messages if they wish to keep their account open. Generally, just logging on to one's online account from time to time will be enough to keep it active.

The "warnings" advise recipients to go to www.msn.com and "see for yourself". However, there is nothing on the MSN site that confirms the story in any way.

Some versions of the hoax also include a link to an old BBC news article that, at first glance, seems to give credence to the claims in the message. However, a closer examination of the article quickly reveals that it, in fact, does not confirm the claims in the hoax message in any way. Firstly, the BBC article was published back in 2001, and therefore has no relevance to current events whatsoever. Secondly, the article discusses Microsoft's intention to start charging an optional fee for enhanced MSN and Hotmail services. And, in fact, Microsoft did indeed begin offering MSN customers access to extra services for a fee a number of years ago. However, as very clearly stated in the BBC article, Microsoft had no intention of charging customers for core MSN or Hotmail services and it has never done so.

Unfortunately, it seems that many recipients of the hoax email take only a brief glance at the linked BBC article's headline and then forward on the nonsensical email in the mistaken belief that they have therefore verified its claims. If they were to take a few moments to actually read the BBC article and take note of its February 2001 publication date, they would quickly realize that it does not confirm the absurd claims in the hoax email in the slightest.

Like their many predecessors, these messages are pure nonsense. Forwarding them will do no more than clutter inboxes with more pointless junk.

Reality of Email Containing Photographs of Striped Icebergs Found in The Antarctic Area

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

Email claims that attached photographs show several spectacular striped icebergs found in the Antarctic area.

According to this email forward, the attached images are photographs of amazing striped icebergs taken in the Antarctic region. At first glance, these images might seem almost too beautiful and spectacular to be genuine and some commentators have suggested that they have been altered in an image manipulation program such as Photoshop or Adobe. However, such icebergs do indeed exist and the photographs are authentic.

The mail spreading over internet looks like presented here below:

========================================

Subject: Striped Icebergs

Amazing striped icebergs

Icebergs in the Antarctic area sometimes have stripes, formed by layers of snow that react to different conditions.

Blue stripes are often created when a crevice in the ice sheet fills up with meltwater and freezes so quickly that no bubbles form.

When an iceberg falls into the sea, a layer of salty seawater can freeze to the underside. If this is rich in algae, it can form a green stripe.

Brown, black and yellow lines are caused by sediment, picked up when the ice sheet grinds downhill towards the sea.





================================================

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

A March 2008 article published in the UK's Daily Mail notes that the photographs were taken by Norwegian sailor Oyvind Tangen from aboard a research vessel. The iceberg photographs were snapped in an area several hundred miles north of the Antarctic. As the message explains, blue stripes are formed as iceberg layers melt and refreeze quickly, while green stripes are created by the freezing of algae-rich sea water. Other coloured stripes, such as black, brown and yellow, were created by sediment collected by the ice as it moved down a hillside towards the sea. The icebergs may have taken hundreds or even thousands of years to form.

While this version of the message is factual, a variant of the message is also circulating that tacks on a series of photographs of another Antarctic ice formation, one of which is included below:



This "frozen wave" variant of the message includes the following description:
Antarctica Frozen Wave Pixs - Nature is amazing! The water froze the instant the wave broke through the ice. That's what it is like in Antarctica where it is the coldest weather in decades. Water freezes the instant it comes in contact with the air. The temperature of the water is already some degrees below freezing. Just look at how the wave froze in mid-air!!!
These photographs are also authentic, but the accompanying description is false. The images do not show waves somehow instantly frozen in place. Instead, they show ice formations created by glaciation, melting and refreezing, and other natural forces, over very long periods of time. The "ice wave" photographs are not related to the striped iceberg images and were taken at a different time and place by a different photographer, scientist Tony Travouillon.


Reality of The Mail With Photograph of Largest Flower in World Blooms in Mexico

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

Email claims that an attached photograph shows a flower in Mexico that is the largest in the world and only blooms once every forty years for four days.

This is an amazing mail claiming something very strange. But reality of this mail is just 50/50; as the photograph is genuine and real but the claim in this mail is just an overstatement or exaggeration.

The circulated mail is presented here below:

===========================================

Subject: Awesome flower!!

This flower in Mexico only blooms once every 40 years for 4 days. How magnificent is God's creation!

The largest flower in the world is blossoming in the mountainous region of Rio Blanco, Veracruz, Mexico . Two meters high, it has the peculiarity of blooming only during four days every 40 years.

=============================================

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

This email forward claims that an attached photograph depicts a flower growing in mountains near Rio Blanco, Veracruz, Mexico that is the largest in the world and only blooms once every forty years for four days.

However, while the image itself is genuine, the email is inaccurate in its description of the flower. The flower shown in the image - Amorphophallus titanum or Titan Arum - is indeed considered the largest in the world. Also known as the "Corpse Flower" because of its foul smell, Amorphophallus titanum is a prized addition to a number of well-known botanical gardens around the world, including London's Kew Gardens, California's Huntington Botanical Gardens and Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens.

The plants have become quite famous and always attract large crowds when a particular specimen blooms at one of the above locations or at a number of others gardens around the world. One such plant was also featured in Sir David Attenborough's outstanding BBC documentary The Private Life Of Plants.



However, while specimens of the Corpse Flower may exist in gardens in Mexico, the plant certainly does not grow wild in that country as implied in the email. In fact, the native habitat of Amorphophallus titanum is the rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Moreover, the photograph of the Titan Arum included in the message was not taken in Mexico. The photograph was actually taken at Stuttgart, Germany's Wilhelma Botanical and Zoological Gardens by Lothar Grünz in October 2005.

The same photograph along with details about where, when and by whom the picture was taken, is available on the Wikimedia Commons website. And, another shot published on the Wilhelma website clearly shows the same building in the background as that shown in the above photograph.

While bloomings of the Amorphophallus titanum are certainly rare, and the flowers only last for two or three days, it is not true that they only bloom once every forty years as claimed in the message. The specimens kept in various botanical gardens often go for several years between blooms. However, the plants are not set to a forty year blooming cycle and many specimens have bloomed much more regularly. In "The Private Life Of Plants", David Attenborough suggests that Amorphophallus titanum in the wild bloom about once every 1000 days.

Thus, it seems clear that an unknown prankster has simply taken the picture of the Wilhelma Titan Arum and tacked on some fanciful information about Mexico and a fictitious forty year bloom cycle.

Reality of Mail Spreading on Internet Subjected "Happy Burger Day Free meal coupon from Red Robin"

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

Message circulating via email and the Internet claims that recipients can print out an attached coupon to receive a free burger from gourmet burger chain, Red Robin.

In fact, the email containing this coupon is absolutely fake and the official website of Red Robin has already published an alert that the coupons are fraudulent and that they will not be fulfilled.

Let's see the mail which is spreading over internet via email and posted on many social networking sites; detailed explanation will follow with facts and figures:

=================================================

Subject: Happy Burger Day Free meal coupon from Red Robin

====================================================

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

This coupon, which is circulating via email and has also been posted to numerous websites, blogs and social networking sites, can supposedly be redeemed for a free burger and sundae at Red Robin stores. Red Robin is a gourmet burger chain that operates in various locations in the United States and Canada. Information on the coupon claims that recipients can print out a copy and take it to a Red Robin store to receive their free food.

As it is mentioned earlier; however, the coupon is bogus and was not issued by Red Robin. The company has published the following alert on its website stating that the coupons are fraudulent and that they will not be fulfilled.

Notice Regarding Fraudulent Coupon Offer

A fraudulent Red Robin coupon offering a free Gourmet Burger and sundae has been circulating via the internet and email, and also has been distributed in a printed version by a variety of unauthorized sources. Red Robin does not sponsor or endorse these fraudulent offers and Red Robin restaurants will not fulfill any offers appearing in deceptive or fraudulent coupons.

Pranksters quite regularly create fake coupons, vouchers or offers and distribute them via email and the Internet. The promise of free products or services is enough to fool many recipients into passing on such hoaxes to others in their contact list or sharing them via blogs and social networking websites. During 2008, another burger chain, In-N-Out Burgers, became the victim of an Internet rumour that falsely claimed that the company was offering heavily discounted food on a particular day. And in 2007, UK retailer, Marks & Spencer was inundated with customer enquiries after a widespread email forward fraudulently promised vouchers worth up to £500 for those who sent the message to a specified number of others.

While some Internet based offers are perfectly valid, in is not uncommon for giveaway offers that circulate via email and online to be fake. It is wise for Internet users to take all such offers with a grain of salt until other legitimate sources, such as information on the company website, confirm the validity of the supposed offer.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Microsoft Online Draw Scam - - Winning Notification of £ 1,000,000 (One Million Great Britain Pounds) From Sweepstakes Organized by Microsoft and AOL

Here I come with another story of latest trap by internet fraudsters. This time they again used big names in the world like Microsoft and AOL. These big names are being used by cybercriminals to convince internet users more easily and to make them believe whatever they mentioned in their respective mails.

I received this mail from "info@microsoft.org" and when I tried to search on Google search bar this "microsoft.org", I never find any domain name matching with it. Therefore no need to explain more about this scam. Let's go through the mail I received today morning and presented below for your review:

=================================================


From: Microsoft Online Draw
Sent: Sat, November 21, 2009 10:01:26 AM
Subject:

Dear Sir/ Madam,


The prestigious Microsoft and AOL has set out and successfully organized a
Sweepstakes marking the year 2009 anniversary we rolled out over US$
400,419,864 for our New year Anniversary Draws. Participants for the
draws were
randomly selected and drawn from a wide range of web hosts which we
enjoy their
patronage.


Your email address as indicated was drawn and attached to reference and ticket
number 008795727498 with serial numbers MIC-AOL/8303/09 and drew the lucky
numbers 04-18-35-38-53-46 (12) which subsequently won you £ 1,000,000 ( One
Million Great Britain Pounds) as one of the jackpot winner in this draw. You
have therefore won the entire winning sum of £ 1,000,000 (One Million Great
Britain Pounds) the draws registered as

Draw number one was conducted in
Liverpool, UK on the 12th September, 2009.
These Draws are commemorative and as such special.Find below your referred
agent and the verification form:


Address: 18 South Drive, Hepworth,Diss,N0rfolk, IP22 2HF, UK
Contact Agent: Mr. Frank Powell
Tel: +44 703 593 0585
Email:deskoffrank_powell@yahoo.com.hk


Name: ..................................
Country of Origin.......................
Place of Residence......................
Occupation..............................
Sex/Age.................................
Telephone/Fax...........................
Winning Email ID........................


Mr. Whitney Whiton
Public Relations Officer
©2009 Microsoft Corporation

==================================================

Beware! Its a cyber World and keep sharing this information among your friends and contacts to be a part of my effort to save every internet user from cyber victimization.

Email From An Unknown Offers 35% Share in Forty Five Million United State Dollars ($45,000,000.00USD)

Today's second cyber trap for me. This time it is from Mr. Azim Mohammed of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; offering me for a 35% share in huge $45 Million, that some body left in an untouched bank account. He tried to convince me with a long story in his mail presented below for my readers.

I'm not sure that any internet user can believe this rubbish story and be victimized to this trap; but cybercriminals are using this weapon again and again that shows that it is working for them to some extent and they are fooling innocent internet users with this trap. Anyhow, I'm presenting it here; so that at least my readers can be aware of the latest malicious cyber activity.

=================================================


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: AZIM MOHAMMED
Sent: Sat, November 21, 2009 8:04:06 AM
Subject: GOOD DAY

JKR 32, Jalan Nipah
Off Jalan Ampang
55000 Kuala Lumpur

Good Day

With respect and humility I decided to send this proposal to you, this however is not mandatory nor will I in any manner compel you to honor against your will.

I wish to extend this mutual business proposal to you with the hope that you will gladly accept. I am Mr Azim Mohammed Ngan, the personal account officer to the great late diseased who has an account in one of the top banks here in Malaysia.

We want to transfer to overseas ($45,000,000.00USD) Forty Five Million United State Dollars from a Cooperate Bank here in Malaysia to an oversea account. The account was opened in 2001 and he died in 2004 without a written or oral WILL and since 2004 nobody has operated on this account again. After going through some old files in the records I discovered that the owner of the account died without a [heir] hence the money is floating and if I do not remit this money out urgently it will be forfeited for nothing and the Government of Malaysia will confiscate the funds for their personal use which I personally don't want such incident to happen being that this is a great opportunity for me.

I want to ask you to quietly look for a reliable and honest person who will be capable and fit to provide either an existing bank account or to set up a new Bank account immediately to receive this money, even an empty bank account can serve to receive this money, as long as you will remain honest to me till the end for this important business trusting in you and believing in God that you will never let me down either now or in future.

The amount involved is ($45,000,000.00USD) Forty Five Million United State Dollars, but I don't know any foreigner. I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this money cannot be approved to a local person here, without valid international foreign passport, but can only be approved to any foreigner with valid international passport or drivers license and foreign account because the money is in UNITED STATE DOLLARS and the former owner of the account is a foreigner too, and the money can only be approved into a foreign bank account.

I have packaged this transaction in a way that it will be of mutual benefit to us. As the top accountant, it is my duty to send a financial report to my head office in the capital city here in Kuala Lumpur, at the end of each financial year. I have also moved the funds into what the bank call Escrow Holding Account with no beneficiary. Meanwhile as you know I can not be directly connected to this money for obvious reasons .I will compute your particulars as the beneficiary of the said deposit in my branch, so that my head office will immediately order the transfer to your designated bank Account.

My secretary only got your contact from the internet and I am sure she doesn't know you before, being that I told her to get me a foreigners contact address because the original operator of the account is a foreigner and this money can only be approved into a foreign beneficiaries account only, I am revealing this to you with believe in God that you will never let me down in this business. You are the first and the only person that I am contacting for this business, so please reply urgently so that I will inform you the next step to take urgently. Send also your private telephone and fax number including the full details of the account to be used for the deposit.

I need your full co-operation to make this work fine. Because the management is ready to approve this payment to any foreigner who has correct information of this account, which I will give to you upon your positive response and once I am convinced that you are capable and will meet up with instruction of a key bank official who is deeply involved with me in this business.

I need your strong assurance that you will never, never let me down. With my influence and the position of the bank official we can transfer this money to any foreigner's reliable bank account which you can provide with assurance that this money will be intact in your account after successful transfer pending our physical arrival in your country for withdrawal, sharing and for possible investments. The bank official will destroy all documents of transaction immediately we receive this money leaving no trace, we will fly to your country at least two days ahead of the money going into the account for withdrawal, sharing and for possible investment.

I will apply for annual leave to get visa immediately I hear from you that you are ready to act and receive this fund in your account. I will use my position and influence to obtain all legal approvals for onward transfer of this money to your account with appropriate clearance from the relevant ministries and foreign exchange departments.

At the conclusion of this business, you will be given 35% of the total amount, 60% will be for me, while 5% will be for expenses both parties might have incurred during the process of transferring.

I look forward to your earliest reply through my email. --------------------------.

Sincerely,
Mr .Azim Mohammed Ngan.

==================================================

This is what I can do the rest is requested to share this with your friends and contacts; so that every possible person would be informed regarding it.

Hope to see comments from my readers.

UNITED NATION SCAMMED VICTIMS REPAYMENT - - The Latest Attack From Cybercriminals Using The Name of "United Nations"


Cybercriminals are setting perfect example of "Hit n Trial". They have unlimited innocent internet users to target and still there is now exact number showing their Trial converted into Success. So who knows who else is receiving such cheesy mails and who is getting trapped in such beautiful wordings.

I use to receive such mail often; but I think cyber cowboys are in hurry to get prepared for Christmas Eve, so they are attacking more furiously. I received three juicy mails yesterday, one of it is presented here, in which the scammers used again the name of United Nations. I've already presented one of these mails; early in this same month of November labeled as "Compensation Scam Reborn - - Using the Name of United Nations", one I shared with you back in August labeled as "Compensation Scam Using the Name of United Nations". Go through this mail presented below, in the mean time, I will prepare next two stories for the guidance of my readers.

===============================================



----- Forwarded Message ----
From: UNITED NATION SCAMMED VICTIMS REPAYMENT Mr Graham Smith
Sent: Fri, November 20, 2009 4:07:02 PM
Subject: Attn:




Please be informed that an Atm and a drafted cheque of $ 800,000,00 US
dollars has been assigned to be paid to you. By United Nation
Organization.processing details needed Full Nema: Address: Phone No: Age:
Sex: Occupation:and Country.

CHOOSE FROM ONE OF THE BELOW PAYMENT OPTIONS.
1. ATM CARD
2. CHECK PAYMENT

Yours faithfully,
Mr Graham Smith.
Tel: 234-806-380-2763
United Nation Representative.

=============================================

May be you have received such mail already, if not, may be you're in the next recipient list of Scammers. Your comments will add a positive touch to my words "It's an attempt to save my readers from any kind of cyber victimization."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Email Hoaxes - - Reality of The Mail Containing Information About The Obama Phone - Free Cell Phones for Welfare Recipients


Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

Protest message claims that US President Obama has established a program in which welfare recipients are eligible to receive a free cell phone and a free monthly phone allowance.

In fact, the reality of this mail is misleading and inaccurate - Programs to provide discounted telephone services do exist, but they have been in place for many years and were not initiated by the Obama administration.

Let's first go through the contents of the mail, then the detailed explanation will follow:

=========================================

Subject: Obama Phone's

This is no joke!

I had a former employee call me earlier today inquiring about a job, and at the end of the conversation he gave me his phone number. I asked the former employee if this was a new cell phone number and he told me yes this was his “Obama phone.” I asked him what an “Obama phone” was and he went on to say that welfare recipients are now eligible to receive (1) a FREE new phone and (2) approx 70 minutes of FREE minutes every month. I was a little skeptical so I Googled it and low and behold he was telling the truth.

TAX PAYER MONEY IS BEING REDISTRIBUTED TO WELFARE RECIPIENTS FOR FREE CELL PHONES. This program was started earlier this year.

Enough is enough, the ship is sinking and it’s sinking fast. The very foundations that this country was built on are being shaken. The age old concepts of God, family, and hard work have flown out the window and are being replaced with “Hope and Change” and “Change we can believe in.” You can click on the link below to read more about the “Obama phone”…just have a barf bag ready.

https://www.safelinkwireless.com/EnrollmentPublic/home.aspx

=============================================

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

This protest email claims that US President Obama has initiated a scheme in which low-income earners can receive a free cell phone along with a monthly phone allowance of around 70 minutes. According to the message the "Obama Phone" scheme is being funded by US taxpayers.

However, the information in the message is misleading and inaccurate. While there is a scheme that provides free or discounted phone services for certain eligible low income earners, it has been in place for many years and has nothing whatsoever to do with President Obama. Nor is the scheme directly funded by taxpayers as claimed in the message.

The subsidy scheme consists of two programs, Lifeline Assistance and Link-Up America that come under the control of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The current form of the scheme began more than a decade ago via an act of Congress, the Telecommunications Act of 1996. A May 1997 news release about the act states:

The 1996 Act requires the Commission and the states to ensure that affordable, quality, telecommunications services are available to all Americans. Consistent with Congress's mandate, the Commission sets in motion universal service policies that will ensure all Americans, including low-income consumers and those who live in rural, insular, high cost areas, shall have affordable service and will help to connect eligible schools, libraries, and rural health care providers to the global telecommunications network. The new plan fully funds Congress's universal service goals, while ensuring adequate incentives for continued investment in the local telecommunications network. The Order also ensures that rural, small, and high cost telephone companies continue to receive the necessary universal service support.

Information about the programs on the FCC website notes:

Telephone service is considered a necessity for daily modern life. Yet the cost of starting and maintaining such service may be too high for some consumers. Under Congressional mandate, the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) supports the Lifeline Assistance and Link-Up America programs. These programs provide discounts on basic monthly service and initial installation or activation fees for telephone service at the primary residence to income-eligible consumers. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), with the help of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), administers the USF.

Moreover, even before the 1996 act was initiated, other informal programs to provide universal telecommunications service were in place including a version of the Lifeline program.

And, while the programs are overseen by Federal Government entity, the FCC, they are not directly funded by taxpayers as claimed in the message. The May 1997 FCC article explains:

All telecommunications service providers and certain other providers of telecommunications must contribute to the federal USF based on a percentage of their interstate and international end-user telecommunications revenues. These companies include wireline phone companies, wireless phone companies, paging service companies, and certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers.

Some consumers may notice a “Universal Service” line item on their telephone bills. This line item appears when a company chooses to recover its USF contributions directly from its customers by billing them this charge. The FCC does not require this charge to be passed on to customers. Each company makes a business decision about whether and how to assess charges to recover its Universal Service costs. These charges usually appear as a percentage of the consumer’s phone bill. Companies that choose to collect Universal Service fees from their customers cannot collect an amount that exceeds their contribution to the USF. They also cannot collect any fees from a Lifeline program participant.

The Universal Service Fund is administrated by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), "an independent, not-for-profit corporation designated as the administrator of the federal Universal Service Fund by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)".

Safelink Wireless, the program referred to in the email, does indeed provide a free cell phone to eligible clients via the Lifeline program, along with around 68 free minutes each month. The Safelink Wireless program is operated by TracFone Wireless, an América Móvil subsidiary based in Florida. Information on the Safelink Wireless website notes:

Over twenty years ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the Lifeline Program to help guarantee Universal Service in the US. The Lifeline Program provides discounted telephone service to low-income families and individuals that otherwise would find it difficult to pay for telephone service. To qualify for Lifeline Support, Families or individuals have to be either enrolled in a State social service program or qualify under the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines. Eligibility varies by state.

In April 2008, the FCC approved TracFone as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) to provide Lifeline Service in 11 states. Subsequently, TracFone has been approved in an additional 9 states and is currently providing service in 19 states. Today, there are over 1,700 ETC’s providing Lifeline service throughout the United States.

Thus, the claim that it was the Obama administration that created the scheme is clearly untrue. Even Safelink Wireless, the specific program referred to in the message, was initiated before Obama came to power, during the administration of President George Bush. Calling the free cell phones provided by Safelink Wireless "Obama Phones" is therefore misleading to say the least. As Justin Bank of FactCheck.org pithily puts it:

The president has no direct impact on the program, and one could hardly call these devices "Obama Phones," as the e-mail author does. This specific program, SafeLink, started under President George Bush, with grants from an independent company created under President Bill Clinton, which was a legacy of an act passed under President Franklin Roosevelt, which was influenced by an agreement reached between telecommunications companies and the administration of President Woodrow Wilson.

Wilson Phones, anyone?

Of course, it is accurate to state that many US telecommunications consumers do indirectly fund the phone service programs via Universal Service Fees collected by their phone service providers. However, it is not true that taxpayer money is being redistributed to fund the programs as suggested in the email.

Beware! Internet Users - - Fake Mail Warning: Mailbox Deactivated Trojan Email



Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:


Email purporting to be from technical support claims that the recipient's mailbox has been deactivated and he or she must run an attached utility in order to restore email service.

This mail is truly an attack from internet criminals to victimize the innocent internet users. The attachment in this mail contains malicious trojan. Detailed inquiry will follow the contents of this mail presented below here:

================================================

From: automailer@[target domain name]
Subject: your mailbox has been deactivated


We are contacting you in regards to an unusual activity that was identified in your mailbox. As a result, your mailbox has been deactivated. To restore your mailbox, you are required to extract and run the attached mailbox utility.

Best regards, [target domain name] technical support.

[utility.zip attachment]

=================================================

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

Malware emails that claim that the recipient's email account has been deactivated are currently being distributed. According to the message, unusual activity has been detected on the user's account and, as a result, his or her mailbox has been deactivated. The email instructs the recipient to extract and run an attached "mailbox utility", supposedly in order to restore their email service.

However, the email is not from the recipient's ISP or hosting company and the attachment does not contain a mailbox utility. In fact, those who fall for the ruse and open the attachment will install a copy of the Mal/EncPk-LP trojan.

The messages use fake sender addresses to make it appear that they originate with the user's service provider. For instance, if the recipient has the email address, usersname@example.com, the malware email will arrive with an address such as automailer@example.com and will also end with a line such as "best regards, example.com technical support".

By using the recipient's own domain name in the malware messages, the criminals responsible for the malware attack hope to fool more recipients into believing the bogus claims in the message and opening the attachment. Unfortunately, clever little tricks such as these still work well and are therefore regularly used by Internet criminals.

While a service provider may contact you via email if they have detected a problem with your email account, it is extremely unlikely that they would include any sort of utility, software patch or update as an email attachment. If you receive such an email, do not open any attachments or click on any links that come with the message. Remember that it is quite easy for criminals to make it appear that an email is legitimate by using fake "from" addresses, disguised links, and logos or other graphics stolen from the genuine company's website.

Reality of The Mail Spreading All-Over That Showing Photographs of Most Colourful River In The World

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

Email forward claims that a series of attached photographs show a very colourful and spectacular display created by many varieties of algae and moss growing on an isolated river at a certain time of year.

These photographs look like worked out by any computer master; but fact is really otherwise, these photographs are very real and genuine.

The details will follow the mail spreading all over:

================================================

Subject: FW: The Most Colourful River In The World

The river that ran away to paradise -

During a brief span between wet and dry seasons, when the water level is just right, the many varieties of algae and moss bloom in a dazzling display of colors.

Without any roads leading to this river, it must be accessed by horse.




================================================

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

According to this email forward, an attached series of photographs depict an unnamed river made spectacularly colourful by the blooming of different coloured algae. The message suggests that the river is the most colourful in the world and notes that the algae display only occurs for brief periods when water levels and climatic conditions are optimal.

The information in the message is factual and the photographs are genuine. The river shown in the photographs is the Caño Cristales, which is located near the town of La Macarena in Columbia, South America. The river, world famous for its colourful display, has been called "the river that ran away to paradise", "the most beautiful river in the world" and "the river of five colours". Information about the river published on the Atlas Obscura website notes:

During Colombia's wet season, the water flows fast and deep, obscuring the bottom of the river and denying the mosses and algae that call the river home the sun that they need. And during the dry season there is not enough water to support the dazzling array of life in the river. But during a brief span between the wet and dry seasons, when the water level is just right, the many varieties of algae and moss bloom in a dazzling display of colors. Blotches of amarillo, blue, green, black, and red - and a thousand shades in between - coat the river.

As noted in the message, the part of the river where the colourful blooms occur is quite isolated and is not accessible by road. Adventurous tourists can now fly into La Macarena and then make their way to to the river site on foot as part of guided tours. The site was effectively closed to tourists for several years because of FARC guerrilla activity in the region along with concerns about the impact of unregulated tourist traffic. However, the site was reopened to visitors in 2009. The Colombia Reports website notes:

The Caño Cristales site, located about two hours walk from the town of La Macarena, will be open to visitors until November 10, when the summer season dries out the algae and the river loses it magnificent colours.

So far, some 1,000 people have visited Caño Cristales, including around 100 foreign tourists.

According to new regulations visits to the site are made up of groups of up to 20 people, taken throughout the day by four guides. The tours will follow four clearly marked and authorized paths and one is no longer permitted to stay overnight or cook, as this was ruining the area previously.

Even so, reports indicate that some intrepid visitors still made it to the river during the years it was officially closed to tourists.

Many other photographs of the river in all its glory have been published on various travel blogs and photo sharing websites. The following Youtube posting depicts an excursion to La Macarena and Cano Cristales:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beware Internet Users and Job Hunters From "Too-Good-To-Be-True" Offers And Money Earning Opportunities

Internet users and job hunters are urged to beware of 'too-good-to-be-true' money-earning opportunities during the recession.



Fraudsters are using channels including recruitment websites to mislead web users, according to experts.

Workers at national internet security initiative GetSafeOnline.org say more and more people are being tricked into becoming 'money mules' to help crooks launder money.

Survey results show one in seven web users in the region have been offered a job online they have never applied for – a warning sign, according to experts.

Sharon Lemon, deputy director of e-crime at the Serious Organised Crime Agency and chairwoman of the GetSafeOnline.org steering committee, said: 'Some money mules know exactly what they are doing.

'However, many end up unwittingly laundering profits for overseas criminals as a result of being taken in by fake recruitment sites.

'The consequence is that they end up liable for all the criminal funds they've received – which must be repaid, their bank accounts are frozen and they may be subject to criminal investigation.'

Tony Neate, managing director of GetSafeOnline.org, said: 'With many people looking for ways to earn money during a recession, it's critical that people learn to spot the warning signs to avoid becoming a victim.'

5 Persons Held in Malaysia Over Web-based Scams Costing More Than US$60,254

KUALA TERENGGANU, MALAYSIA - Three African men and two Malaysian women were detained two weeks ago on suspicion of running Internet-based scams which cheated seven people of more than RM146,000 (US$60,254).

State police chief Datuk Mohd Shukri Dahlan said the five lured their victims via the Internet with the promise of overseas jobs, prizes and even marriage offers.

He said they would befriend the victims and promise them expensive gifts, after which they would be asked to pay a certain amount in the form of "taxes" or "Customs fees" to collect them.

The victims would then deposit the money into the Malaysian women's accounts.

Meanwhile, 21 cases of scams by SMS had been reported in the past nine months.

Shukri said total losses were estimated at RM134,250.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

WINNING NOTIFICATION - - Latest Lottery Scam using the name of Game Arena Ltd®, UK


Latest lottery scam by cybercriminals is presented here. An email subjected as "WINNING NOTIFICATION" received me only yesterday from Game Arena Ltd® with a pdf file as attachment providing me the information that I've won a huge amount in the lottery; in which I never participated.

The email contents and contents from attached pdf file is presented here for your review; so that every reader should be careful not be victimized of such internet frauds.

==========================================================
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Game Arena Ltd®
Sent: Tue, November 17, 2009 10:36:18 PM
Subject: WINNING NOTIFICATION




INLINE ATTACHMENT FOLLOWS:

Date: November 17, 2009

Find the enclosed PDF file attachment for more details and as well
acknowledge receipt of this mail/document immediately on receipt.

Sincerely,
Dr. Aston Jackson
Game Arena Ltd
United Kingdom.

This is the preview of attached pdf file; the contents in this file are reproduced after this preview:


The contents of above shown pdf file preview:
===============================================

GAME ARENA LTD
40, CLEVE STREET
BARNSLEY, LONDON, S75 1HW
UNITED KINGDOM
RC NO: TGA-UK-2874902-L
BATCH/SERIAL NO: TGA-UK-07-08009/09
GAME N0: 2955/TGA
Dear Winner,
WINNING NOTIFICATION
For five (5) decades now, The Game Arena Ltd has set out and successfully organized and conducted sweepstakes/draws on a Weekly, Monthly and Annual basis. We have equally maintained our stand and are unbeatable in the industry as it concerns the pay out of winnings to successful winners with the help of our London clearing/pay banks/courier delivery services.

In line with the commemorating event marking our 50th year anniversary/existence, we rolled out over £50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Great British Pounds) for this anniversary/end of year draw. The selection was made through a computer drawn system attaching personalized email addresses to ticket numbers. Selected winners for these draws were randomly picked and drawn from a wide range of web users.

As luck and destiny would have it, your email address as indicated was randomly picked and attached to ticket number 50492047772 with batch/serial number: TGA-UK-07-08009/09 and drew these lucky numbers 04-07-12-21-22-35 (50) which subsequently won you £450,000.00 GBP (Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds) as one of the 50 jumbo jackpot winners in this draw. You are therefore entitled to a total payout of £450,000.00 GBP (Four Hundred and fifty Thousand Great British Pounds) in this jumbo batch. The draws were
conducted in Barnsley London, United Kingdom on November 13, 2009.

These lottery Draws are commemorative and as such special. Please be informed by this winning notification to make contact with our claims/verification department with the details below who shall by duty guide you through the process to facilitate the release of your winnings accordingly.

To file for your claims; contact;
Mr. Jerry Davis
(Game Arena Ltd –Claims Department)
Tel: +44-703-181-4959
Fax: +44-709-289-6542
Email: t29f-1yvh@xemaps.com
(1) FULL NAME (8) MOBILE/TELEPHONE NUMBER
(2) SEX (9) WINNING EMAIL ID
(3) AGE (10) DRAW DATE
(4) NATIONALITY (11) TOTAL AMOUNT WON
(5) FULL ADDRESS (12) TICKET NUMBERS
(6) OCCUPATION (13) BATCH/SERIAL NUMBERS
(7) MARITAL STATUS (14) GAME NUMBERS

I wish to on behalf of all members and staffs of The Game Arena Ltd congratulate you on your win and wish you the best as you spend your good fortune.

Sincerely,

Dr. Aston Jackson
The Game Arena Ltd
United Kingdom

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One Man, Four Frauds ... And Mystery of The Missing £8 Million

The tools of his trade were simple enough; he made calls to banks from an internet cafe, putting on different accents to bamboozle staff, who believed he was an executive seeking an extension for an overdraft.

But for Frageand Nassem, that was all he needed to commit remarkable fraud.

Over four years, the 32-year-old managed to swindle £8.2m out of high street banks, adopting Scottish, Pakistani and other voices as he impersonated executives and bank managers.

Using information he gleaned from Companies House, he tricked banking giants, including HSBC and RBS, to transfer funds from accounts with existing clients into accounts he'd set up for himself using bogus details.

And then the money disappeared. Where it went, or what it was spent on, remains a mystery to this day.

Nassem, from Edinburgh, took such delight in his tricks that he'd call his victims afterwards and laugh at them – having made sure that he'd left no tracks for the banks to follow. He was eventually caught when he attempted an even more outrageous fraud – he tricked foreign currency traders at RBS to use an account run by the Bank of Korea to buy $170m. But he was unable to unlock the cash for himself after he failed to find a way of opening a dollar account to access the funds.

For a man with such an ingenious criminal mind, he was caught out by the simplest of mistakes – he rang his mum from a phone he used to dupe the banks.

Yesterday Nassem was jailed for nine years at Croydon crown court and was warned by Judge Stowe that he faced a further 10 years inside unless he revealed exactly what he has done with the money he stole.

Police described him as a "smart, articulate and arrogant young man" who understood the inner working of international banks and how they could be defrauded of funds. The long term and often subtle methods he used to extract small amounts of information were "extraordinary".

Detectives strongly suspect he was responsible for a series of other similar frauds.

But though police said yesterday they were delighted to have caught Nassem, they still have no idea where the cash has gone.

He spent little of the money on himself. He maintained a five-bedroom house in Livingston, Scotland and leased a Range Rover, but there was little evidence of a lavish lifestyle. Millions of pounds remain unaccounted for, the police said, mostly, it is believed, in foreign bank accounts.

Speaking after the verdict, Superintendent Colin Cowan of the City of London Police said: "I am very pleased to see the level of sentence given to Nassem. It shows once again that fraud is a serious crime with serious consequences."

Nassem was arrested in Edinburgh in 2006 by City of London Police and charged with four major frauds.

He was traced to an internet cafe, which had been identified as the source of a number of emails relating to the frauds.

When searched he was found in possession of a mobile phone that had been used to contact another bank he was targeting, and a notebook containing contact details for staff at that company.

After his arrest he told officers he was mentally ill. While on remand he was seen by several psychiatrists and for more than two years considered too ill to stand trial.

His defence team argued he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

But a decision by the crown prosecution service to press ahead with the trial was backed by Judge Stowe, who said he was faking his illness and had held up the trial by his "stalling".

City of London Police, which take the lead in investigations of financial crime, especially when it affects banks, said: "Nassem was so convincing with his use of a range of accents and his persistent nature that he hoodwinked staff in several banks into believing he was calling from the client company.

"He was also known to call back and laugh at them down the phone once he had stolen the funds.

"His downfall came about because he made two key mistakes: he couldn't resist calling his mum from his criminal phone and he used his library card to access an internet cafe."

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