Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Incredible Story of Peter Davies and Sore Footed Elephant in Kenya - - Reality of The Message About Death in Chicago Zoo

Beware! It's a Cyber World - - Summary:

A widely spreading message tells the story of a man who, twenty years after helped a young wild elephant with a sore foot, believes that he has encountered the same elephant, a belief that ends in tragedy.

The story is just a new version of many old hoaxes of same kind. In fact, this story is totally a JOKE. The elephant encounters described in the message did not take place and the helpful man was not killed. If you somehow missed it, reread the punch line at the end of the message. Versions of the story have circulated in various forms for many years.

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


Subject: This is Truly An Incredible Story

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephants foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenage son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant. 
=================================================== 
 
Beware! It's a Cyber World - - Explanation: 
 
This story has circulated in various forms for many years and predates the Internet. It currently travels via email, blogs and social networks as well as in printed form. The story relates the case of a man who, during a trip to Kenya, helps a wild elephant he encounters by removing a large piece of wood embedded in the animal's foot. According to the story, twenty years later, the man mistakenly concludes that an elephant he encounters at the zoo is the very same animal that he helped back in Kenya - a mistake that has tragic consequences.

However, the story does not relate a real case. In fact, it is a humour piece designed to amuse readers. I include it on these pages simply because a large number of submissions reveal that many recipients apparently do not realize that the story is just a joke and therefore conclude that the events described really happened.

The piece is certainly effective as humour, hence its ongoing popularity as an email forward or message board post. The way the story is written creates an expectation in the reader that the man's second elephant encounter will result in a heart warming and miraculous reunion between the kindly man and his grateful pachyderm friend. Thus, the completely unexpected and rather shocking conclusion is truly amusing. And, of course, the widespread belief that elephants are blessed with very long memories adds substance and credibility to the tale.

The joke has been around in one form or another since at least the 1970's. The following version of the joke was included in the Children's book, The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler, which was first published in 1977:
A man was lost in the jungle. He heard a noise and he saw an elephant with a thorn in his foot. So the man took it out. Then the elephant said, "Can I do anything for you?" The man said, "Yes, take me to the end of the jungle." So the elephant did.

Many years went by. One day the man was at a circus and all the elephants came in. One elephant looked at the man and went to him. The man thought that it must be the elephant he had helped many years ago. He picked the man up and smashed him on the ground. It was the wrong elephant.
Some versions present the story as a riddle rather than as a joke. While the current version identifies the hapless man as one Peter Davies, other versions have used the name Mkele Mbembe. This name appears to be derived from "mokele-mbembe" which is the name given to a legendary dinosaur-like creature thought to live in the Congo's Likouala swamp region. Many versions do not specify any name at all.

Interestingly, the popular idea that "elephants never forget" has received some scientific backing in recent years. An April, 2001 BBC article notes:
The saying that elephants never forget has been backed by science.

And it seems that the old adage may be particularly true in the case of matriarchs, who lead the herd.

A study of wild African elephants has revealed that dominant females build up a social memory as they get older, enabling them to recognize "friendly" faces.

They signal whether an outsider is a friend or foe to the rest of the herd, allowing family members to focus on feeding and breeding when there is no danger.
An article on How Stuff Works concurs, noting, "extensive observations have confirmed that elephants indeed remember injuries and hold grudges against their abusers"  

Lottery Scam Using Name of BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT UK - - Winning Notification of Cash Prize of 750,000.00 Plus a Brand New BMW X6 Series Car


Beware! It's a Cyber World:

Dear readers, beware of following lottery scam that can hit your inbox also or might be already there in your spam box. This is clearly an effort to steal your private information. Don't respond at all to Mrs. Patricia Adams.


=======================================================
 From: "Award@BMW Automobile"
Sent: Mon, October 25, 2010 1:53:07 PM
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT (VIEW ATTACHMENT)

Attachment reproduced here for my readers: 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BMW
Automobiles
22 Garden Close, Stamford,
Lincs, PE9 2YP, London
United Kingdom


Dear Winner,

This is to inform you that you have been selected for a cash prize of 750,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds) and a brand new BMW X6 Series Car from the BMW International program held on 20TH OCTOBER, 2010 in London UK.

The selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerized email selection system from a database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world.
The BMW Lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board and also licensed by the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR).
To begin the processing of your prize you are to contact our fiduciary claims department for more information as regards procedures to claim your prize.
BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT UK
7 DOCK WAY, SEFTON BUSINESS PARK
LONDON, T40 4RT
United Kingdom
BAR. ALAN ROBERT
BY EMAIL: claimsdept2010@zhot.net
TEL: +44 70457 11331

Contact him by please providing him with your Reference Number BMW:2551256003/23.You are also advised to provide him with the under listed information as soon as possible:

1. Name in full.

2. Address.

3. Nationality.

4. Age.

5. Occupation.

6. Phone/Fax.

7. Present Country.

We ask that you keep this award personal, till your claims have been processed and your funds remitted to you. This is a part of our security measures to avoid double claiming or unwarranted participants or imposters, taking advantage of the situation, If found that your winnings is been exposed to third party you shall be disqualified from the draw.

Failure to claim your prizes would result to forfeiting and will be used for next 10,000,000 pounds sterling international lottery program.

Furthermore, should there be any change in your contact address, do inform your claims agent as soon as possible.

Once again congratulations.

Thanks,

Mrs. Patricia Adams

BMW® 2010. © 1993-2010 BMW Automobile. All rights reserved.
===========================================================
Please keep on sharing your comments and similar fraud mails and scams; so that our efforts can save the internet users from any kind of cyber victimization.

Monday, November 29, 2010

“OMG OMG OMG… I cant believe this actually works! - - New ePrivacy App Scam on Facebook

Beware! It's a Cyber World:

Don't believe the message if you receive this message while you are working on Facebook. Detailed analysis will be presented later, here.
 
“OMG OMG OMG… I cant believe this actually works! Now you can see who viewed your profile”

A new ePrivacy App scam is currently making the rounds on Facebook and promises that by installing the ePrivacy application users of Facebook will then be able to view who checked your profile.

Unfortunately for anyone who has installed the ePrivacy application it allows the scammers to take control of your account and help spread the malware even further, says Sophos.

Already over 60,000 users have fallen victim to the scam which is still spreading through Facebook. Onceyou have been infected the app starts posting on your wall with a link.

Reality of the Facebook Warning Post Requested to Be Re-posted - - Facebook Apps Sending Out "not very nice" Messages

Beware! It's a Cyber World - - Summary:

A widely and rapidly circulating Facebook message warns users that some apps are sending out "not very nice" messages that may appear to come from friends.

Re-posting of this message is just baseless as the message is so vague that it has virtually no worth as a warning; even it is true that there have been some rogue Facebook applications that automatically posted spam or scam messages to a user's Facebook profile. The message does not specify which apps to watch out for nor does it provide any details as to what the "not very nice" messages contain. Thus, re-posting it is pointless. 

Let's have a look to the message contents:

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

FACEBOOK FRIENDS!!! SOME APPS ARE SENDING NOT VERY NICE MESSAGES USING YOUR NAME!!! IF YOU DON'T WANT TO GET INTO TROUBLE WITH YOUR FRIENDS, COPY PASTE AND SHARE THE POST!! IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED ANY FROM ME, BE ASSURED I DIDN'T SEND IT

 
=====================================================
Beware! It's a Cyber World - - Explanation:

This warning, which is currently circulating very rapidly around social networking website Facebook, warns users to watch out for Facebook applications that may send out "not very nice" messages in their name. It advises users to share the warning with others in order to avoid getting into trouble with Facebook friends who may receive the "not very nice" messages. As with many such warnings, the message amateurishly and annoyingly users all capital letters, apparently in a misguided attempt to make the content seem more important.

There certainly have been rogue Facebook applications that send out spam, scam or malware messages that appear to originate from the accounts of the users who installed the apps. Facebook users do need to use due caution when installing applications. Spammers and other criminals have regularly created rogue Facebook applications designed to further their own nefarious activities and this tactic is likely to continue. Moreover, Facebook users should be cautious of following unknown links in messages, even if they appear to come from a friend.

However, while not specifically false, this warning is just too vague to have any real worth or merit. The message does not mention the names of any of the applications that it is supposedly warning about. In fact, it does not provide any information whatsoever about the applications that users are meant to watch out for. Moreover, it does not provide details about the content of the "not very nice" messages. A "not very nice" message could be many things, including a spam or malware attack, a scam attempt, an inappropriate or insulting comment or simply gossip and innuendo.

Thus, this toothless warning does not provide the recipient with any means whatsoever of identifying one of the rogue applications that it discusses. Nor does it help the recipient to identify messages supposedly posted by one of the rogue apps. It is therefore virtually useless as a warning.

In fact, re-posting this ill-conceived warning will achieve nothing other than to clutter Facebook with even more pointless nonsense. And I think many Facebook users would agree that there is already far too much of such nonsense on the network already.

China Vs. Google Cyber Attack Drama - - Information Leaked by Wikileaks in Not Any Kind of Confirmation

There is plenty of hype over a certain paragraph of text published by The New York Times this past Sunday, where details of a diplomatic cable said China’s Politburo was behind the recent attacks on Google. However, the cable is far from proof. If anything, it’s just yet another lead to follow.

The newest information in the China vs. Google drama comes courtesy of Wikileaks, and its efforts to disclose more than 250,000 U.S. State Department cables.



Several news organizations were given access to the information goldmine before Wikileaks made the data available to the public. In addition to The New York Times, international publications such as Der Spiegel, Le Monde, and the Guardian also had embargoed access to the data. The coverage so far has been impressive.

However, that hasn't stopped the public from jumping the gun, nor does it prevent media from creating its own hype over the subjects exposed in the Wikileaks disclosure. Such is the case when it comes to one diplomatic cable allegedly linking the Chinese government to the attacks on Google.

The New York Times report, quoted in full below, is the only thing that much of the press and public have to go on. This simple brief led to the recent FUD surrounding Google and China.

“A global computer hacking effort: China’s Politburo directed the intrusion into Google’s computer systems in that country, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing in January, one cable reported.

“The Google hacking was part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government. They have broken into American government computers and those of Western allies, the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002, cables said.” - New York Times (28/11/10)

As the quote says, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy the news shortly after the attacks were made public by Google. Given that the actual cable had not been made public at the time this article went live, the only ones to see the uncensored data remain the newspapers and the staff at Wikileaks.

The first thing to take into account is that this development is HUMINT-based, meaning it is intelligence given by a human source. HUMINT data has to be confirmed, as humans can be wrong or used to report false information. Reading the report by The New York Times as is, this appears to be more hearsay than a smoking gun.

The reason the report caught so much attention was due to the sensitive nature of the entire Wikileaks saga, and the fact that the “Chinese contact” named China’s Politburo directly.

The Central Politburo of the Communist Party of China is a 25-person group that oversees the Communist Party of China (CPC). Within the Politburo, the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China wields most of the power. Usually, the top brass in the CPC makeup the power structure for the Standing Committee. Make no mistake, the five to nine men on the Standing Committee hold both influence and power. However, that alone doesn’t mean they ordered the attacks.

While no one is likely to deny that someone in China was acting aggressively, there still isn’t any solid evidence to indicate the attacks were government sanctioned. Based on the publically available data on the attack (dubbed Aurora), it’s still likely this advanced attack was executed using common methods of exploitation. This new information is perhaps a new lead to investigate, but it certainly doesn't qualify as proof.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lottery Scam With Secret Pin Code is ML0867566 - - Email Purportedly from Bishop Mark of Microsoft® Inc. UK

Beware! It's a Cyber World:

Dear readers, beware of following lottery scam that can hit your inbox also or might be already there in your spam box. This is clearly an effort to steal your private information. Don't respond at all to Mr. Bishop Mark.

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

From: Microsoft® Inc. UK (info@microsoftlottery.com)
Sent: Sat, November 27, 2010 11:20:59 PM
Subject: Confirm the receipt of this mail !

Secret Pin Code is ML0867566

canada® Online First Quarter Promotion Award.
For being a regular web user,Your email address just emerged you winner of
750,000.00 GBP and a Brand new Dell Laptop in the Microsoft Word
International End of Year Quarter Promotion draws.

Contact the payout counsellor dept via the contact details stated below
with your

full name,
address,
sex,
occupation &
present country for claims.


Name: Bishop Mark.
Email: claimsverificationdepts@live.com
Tel: +44-7024-0775-82.

Congratulation Once Again
Tracy MacConnel
Microsoft Lottery.


Microsoft® Inc. UK

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

Please keep on sharing your comments and similar fraud mails and scams; so that our efforts can save the internet users from any kind of cyber victimization.

YOU HAVE WON From MICROSOFT CO-OPERATION MANAGEMENT - - Latest Lottery Scam on This Holiday season

Latest lottery scam purportedly from Microsoft with an attachment. Contents of the mail are:

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

From: MICROSOFT CO-OPERATION MANAGEMENT (onlyme@gery.pl)
Sent: Sat, November 27, 2010 6:35:47 PM
Subject: YOU HAVE WON

YOUR WINNER PRIZE INFORMATION VIEW THE PROCEDURES ON HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE.

The attachment in MS-word format contains the information produced below for my readers;


  
FROM: THE DESK OF THE E-MAIL PROMOTIONS MANAGER INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT, MICROSOFT CORPORATION WORLD LOTTERY UNITED KINGDOM.61-70 SOUTHAMPTON ROW BLOOMSBURY LONDON UNITED KINGDOM WC1B 4AR.

REFERENCE NO: 175051720/10   
BATCH NO: 405649992/488     
WINNING NO: PB8701/LPRC
 WINNER: NO17
 ELECTRONIC EMAIL AWARD WINNING NOTIFICATION AWARD PRESENTATION CENTER: UNITED KINGDOM
 
DEAR WINNER,

MICROSOFT CO-OPERATION MANAGEMENT WORLDWIDE ARE PLEASED TO INFORM YOU THAT YOU ARE A WINNER OF OUR ANNUAL MS-WORLD LOTTERY (MEGA JACKPOT LOTTO PROGRAMME) CONDUCTED ON: 3TH OF NOVEMBER 2010
                                                                                               
YOUR PERSONAL E-MAIL ADDRESS OR COMPANY EMAIL WAS ATTACHED TO THIS YEAR’S MSWLL. WITH SERIAL NUMBER 7741137002 DREW THE LUCKY NUMBERS 5-13-33-37-42, AND CONSEQUENTLY WON IN THE FIRST LOTTERY CATEGORY. YOU HAVE THEREFORE BEEN APPROVED FOR LUMP SUMS OF USD 1,000,000 (USD ONE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) PAYABLE IN CASH CREDITED TO FILE REF NO: ILP/HW 875061725/10 THIS IS FROM TOTAL PRIZE MONEY OF USD 25,000,000 USD, SHARED AMONG THE TWENTY-FIVE (25) LUCKY INTERNATIONAL WINNERS IN FIRST AND SECOND CATEGORY.

ALL PARTICIPANTS WERE SELECTED FROM WORLDWIDE A COMPUTER BALLOTING SYSTEM THROUGH OUR MICROSOFT COMPUTER BALLOT SYSTEM DRAWN FROM 21,000 NAMES, 3,000 NAMES FROM EACH CONTINENT (CANADA, ASIA, AUSTRALIA, UNITED STATE, EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST, AFRICA AND OCEANIA, AS PART OF INTERNATIONAL "E-MAIL" PROMOTIONS PROGRAMME, WHICH IS CONDUCTED ANNUALLY FOR OUR PROMINENT MS -WORD USERS ALL OVER THE WORLD TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF INTERNET AND COMPUTERS WORLDWIDE. 

YOUR FUND (CERTIFIED CHEQUE) HAS BEEN INSURED WITH YOUR REF NO: ILP/HW-475061725/10 AND WILL BE READY FOR TRANSFER AS SOON AS YOU CONTACT YOUR CLAIM AGENT DR SMITH WALKER . YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS SHOULD BE USED IN ALL CORRESPONDENCE WITH YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER, PLEASE NOTE THAT, YOU ARE TO CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER VIA EMAIL OR TELEPHONE AS WE ARE PROMOTING THE USE OF E-MAIL. ALSO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CALL HIM TO CONFIRM YOUR WINNINGS AND GOVERNMENT TAX PAYMENT THAT IS ALL, AS HE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH THE NECESSARY DETAILS ON HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE. AS PART OF OUR SECURITY PROTOCOL YOU ARE TO QUOTE THIS SECURITY CODE MSW/MAY/XX10 TO YOUR CLAIMING AGENT. THIS IS TO PREVENT SCAM.
  
CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS AGENT OFFICER IN UNITED KINGDOM.
NAME:  Dr. SMITH WALKER
EMAIL: ukclaimsagent@gala.net
TELEPHONE: +447031975608         

NOTE: IN ORDER TO AVOID MISTAKES, PLEASE REMEMBER TO QUOTE YOUR REFERENCE AND BATCH NUMBERS AND YOUR SECURITY CODE OF MSW/MAY/XX10 IN ALL CORRESPONDENCES WITH YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER. DO NOT REPLY ANY OTHER MAILS LIKE THIS ON NET, AS THEY ARE A LOT OF SCAM ARTIST OUT THERE PRETENDING TO BE US.YOU MAY SEE MAILS LIKE THIS DO NOT REPLY. DO CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER, DR. SMITH WALKER IN UNITED KINGDOM.  YOU WILL BE ASKED TO PROVIDE SOME DETAILS AND AS WELL LET YOU KNOW THE COUNTRIES OF THE PAYING CENTRES AND ALSO TO ENABLE THE OFFICE PROCEED WITH YOUR WINNING CERTIFICATE AND FILE KEEPING.
                                                                                                                        
CONGRATULATIONS, ONCE MORE FROM THE ENTIRE MANAGEMENT AND STAFF OF MICROSOFT CO-OPERATION TO ALL OUR LUCKY WINNERS. THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THIS PROMOTIONAL LOTTERY PROGRAM. OUR SPECIAL THANKS AND GRATITUDE TO ALL THE ASSOCIATES FOR ALLEVIATING POVERTY ROUND THE WORLD.

SINCERELY.
MRS BETH MOOD
 
                                 
MRS. TAKIYYAH  A'ISHAH
(CO-COORDINTOR).    

                                  LOTTERY SPONSORS: CHIEF SPONSORS;                                                                 
MICROSOFT CORPORATION UK,             MICROSOFT CORPORATION AFRICA,
MICROSOFT CORPORATION USA,           MICROSOFT CORPORATION ASIA

Past winners  

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

Be careful on this holiday season. Cyber cowboys are on the coup to cheat innocent internet users.                             

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bank Accounts Hacking: One Indian and Two Foreigners, Nigerian and Nepalese, Were Arrested in New Delhi

New Delhi: According to Police report, two foreigners and their Indian partner were arrested in south Delhi for purportedly hacking into internet bank accounts of people and buying gadgets like laptops.

Investigators believe that many groups of international hackers are involved in similar crime in the country. The groups work from Mumbai and Bangalore and make calls to the targets on the pretext of changing their bank mandates.

The arrested have been identified Praveen Gupta (27), a Nepali national, Promise Eke (27), a Nigerian, and Tashi Wang Chuk (21) hailing from Sikkim, DCP (South) H G S Dhaliwal said.

Eight laptops, 10 digital cameras and 17 Blackberry mobiles, worth Rs 1 million, were recovered from them, he said.

The arrests came following a probe on money being fraudulently withdrawn from 3 ICICI Bank accounts, the DCP said.

It came to light that the huge transaction has been incurred towards Future Bazaar located in Mumbai and Bangalore from these three accounts, he said.


"We procured the details of the purchaser, as well as the delivery address given at the courier company, were procured. The courier company was approached and a police team along with a delivery boy went to the address but could not find anyone," he said.

The consignee was contacted on phone who told the delivery boy to deliver the parcel at Navada Metro Station in west Delhi. Chuk was arrested when he came to allegedly claim the consignment and his apprehension led to the arrest of the other two.

The trio allegedly used to make contact with e-bank account holders over phone.

"They also generated SMS's from ICICI Bank Call Centre for winning the confidence of account holders. They also used to arrange information regarding parentage, date of birth, name of the nominee and account numbers and used this to win the confidence of the account holder.

"They provide the same information to the account holders and in good faith account holder provide them other information regarding their account. Using this, they decoded their e-bank account passwords and login ID's and place purchase orders to Future Bazaar.Com on the basis of this hacked information," Dhaliwal said.

After placing the orders, they got the consignment through a courier company on the fake address by placing one of their associates to the mentioned address, the DCP said, adding that the goods were sold later.

Gupta came to Delhi in 2007. He stayed for a year in Uttam Nagar and returned back to Nepal, where he was engaged in the profession of a guide. During this time, he allegedly met with a hacker 'Kaka' who lured him to the group.

Eke, who has a BCA degree from Lagos University, came to India on a business visa in 2007 and stayed in Chennai. He later came to Delhi and stayed at Malviya Nagar. The Nigerian has good knowledge of computers and started indulging in hacking.

Chuk originally belongs to Sikkim and worked for the group and received the delivery parcels.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mail Claiming Death of 4-year-old Boy Due to Mobile Phone Interference - - Reality and The Detailed Analysis of Hoax Mail


Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

A widely spreading warning message claims that a four year old child died in hospital during a minor operation due to interference from a mobile phone used outside the operating theater.

There is no credible evidence that supports this claim. While the use of mobile phones may cause interference with medical equipment under some circumstances, no deaths have been reported as a result of such interference. Therefore, the claim in the spread message that a child died due to mobile phone interference with medical equipment is untrue.

Let's have a look to the mail contents:

===================================================
Subject: Read it plz...

REAL INCIDENT.... READ N PASS.. VERY IMPORTANT... ....

This is a real incident that happened in a local hospital in Bangalore , India . A 4 year old girl was admitted due to leg fracture. As it was an open fracture, she had to undergo an operation

to stitch the protruding bone back in place. Though it was quite a minor operation, she was hooked on to life support system, as a part of the process.

The doctors had to input some data prior to the operation to suit different conditions. Thereafter, the operation proceeded. Half way through the process, the life support system suddenly went dead.

The culprit : -
Some one was using his/her hand-phone outside the operation theater.. And the frequency had affected the system.. They tried to track the person, but to no avail. The little girl, young and innocent as she was, died soon after.

Be compassionate! Do not use your hand phone / mobiles especially at any hospitals or within the Aircraft or any places where you are told not to use it... You might not be caught in the act, but you might have killed someone without knowledge.

Please pass this to as many, since most of us are just not aware of the seriousness of this issue.
Please Don't Delete. Please Send this to all your contacts and help save a life..

Last Word:
Please avoid using your mobile phones in hospitals, near OT areas / petrol pumps / aircraft etc ... wherever it is mentioned no use of mobiles, go by the rules, it's a matter of life & death.

A tiny mail can save a life 
================================================

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

According to this widely circulated cautionary tale, which circulates via email, blogs and social networks, a young child died during a minor operation because of interference caused by a mobile phone call. The message claims that, when an unthinking person made a mobile phone call outside the operating theatre, interference from the call shut down vital life support equipment and the four year old subsequently died as a result. Versions of the message have been circulating since 2003. While earlier versions did not specify a location where the incident supposedly took place, more recent variants claim\ that the death occurred at a hospital in Bangalore, India.

It is possible, under certain circumstances, for mobile phone use to cause interference with medical equipment. However, the claim in the warning that a child died as a result of mobile phone interference is untrue. Although there is a great deal of information about the possible detrimental impact of mobile phones in a medical environment, there are no credible reports whatsoever that support the claim that any person has ever died as result of such interference. Thus, the specific incident described in the warning appears to be fictional and was perhaps made up simply as a means of illustrating a point.

In fact, the possibility that electromagnetic interference from mobile phones could disrupt sensitive medical equipment and thereby have a negative impact on the health and care of patients has long been of real concern to the medical profession. And, certainly, a number of relatively minor and non-life threatening interference incidents have been reported in the past . To that end, many hospitals and medical clinics around the world have taken steps to restrict use of mobile phones in their facilities, at least in sensitive or critical areas.

While the perceived risk was always considered fairly small, it shrank even further after a Mayo Clinic study in 2007 found that normal mobile phone use did not interfere with medical equipment in any noticeable way. A 2009 ABC news article on the issue notes:
In 2007, researchers at the Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic published one of the first reports to dispel the widespread notion that cell phones negatively affect patient care equipment.

Previous tests in 1997 and 2000 found that cell phones, especially older analog phones, could interfere with heart monitoring equipment and other sensitive medical instruments. In one case, a cell phone signal caused a ventilator to shut off.

But the most recent tests, on medical equipment better shielded against interference from wireless communication devices, showed researchers that the threat had dimmed.

In five months, the researchers performed 300 tests in patient rooms and determined that the normal use of cell phones resulted in no noticeable interference with medical equipment.
As a result of the Mayo Clinic study, some medical institutions have relaxed restrictions placed on mobile phone use. That said, however, other medical experts maintain that the Mayo Clinic study may not have been comprehensive enough and argue that, even if the risk is minimal, the possibility is nevertheless real and mobile phone restrictions should remain in place. And many hospitals and clinics still enforce mobile phone restrictions via signage and verbal warnings.

Thus, the core advice in the message - that people should turn off mobile phones in areas where they are instructed to do so - is still valid and worth heeding. Even though the risk of actually causing disruption to medical equipment may be very small, users should still obey any restrictions placed on mobile phone use by the medical institution that they are attending.

Unfortunately, embellishing the valid advice contained at the core of the message by falsely claiming that a child has actually died as a result of mobile phone interference is unnecessary and all but destroys the credibility and legitimacy of the message.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Identity Theft: Rising Threat in This Holiday Season - - Few Tips and Tricks to Protect Your Identity on Cyber Monday

On this Cyber Monday; it's easy to grab deals from the comfort of your living room but take precautions to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, which costs U.S. consumers more than $50 billion a year. Only do business with websites that are properly secure. A common indicator that it's OK to enter confidential information is the presence of a padlock in the address bar on the checkout page. This means that the data you input will be properly encrypted for your protection.

Go ahead and check a Google search for the phrase “Cyber Monday” produced roughly 54 million results. But not all are legitimate, experts say. As we sit in our cubicles the Monday after Thanksgiving and fill up our shopping carts with steeply discounted goods (instead of filing the ol’ QED report), sophisticated hackers may try to intercept. “This is the time of year that scam artists are hard at work trying to relieve you of your hard-earned money,” says Mike Spinney, senior privacy analyst with the Ponemon Institute, a research “think tank” focusing on improving privacy and data protection. ”Be suspicious of everything.”



For the 50% of shoppers who will be buying holiday gifts online this Cyber Monday, here are some hard and fast rules for protecting your identity along the way.

* Use a Secure Network Connection. While you may be able to hop onto free wifi at your local coffee shop or in a wifi hotspot, you’re safer sticking with your own mobile internet service and connecting to your provider through an air card when you’re not at home or work. Hackers are known to set up phony operating networks that appear to belong to an organization you know or trust in order to lure you in and gain access to your personal data. For example, you may think you’re logging onto Starbucks’ free wifi because you see a network pop up that reads “Starbucks” — but it’s not necessarily legit.

* Shop Websites You Trust. While a Google search leads you to tens of millions of web pages with Cyber Monday deals don’t trust any and all deals, especially if they stem from retailers you don’t recognize or readily trust. Hackers are increasingly creating malicious web sites that are search engine optimized for popular phrases such as “cyber monday.” It’s called SEO poisoning. One quick way to know if a website is secure is to check its URL address. When time comes to pay and enter your credit card information make sure the URL address changes from http to https. The s means your purchase is encrypted. Another clue: If you can’t find a working phone number on the site, let that be a red flag. For best results, avoid search engines and type the website’s name directly into the address bar.

* Update Your Anti-malware Software. While you’re keeping your eyes out for scams, the software has your back–checking for viruses, worm, Trojans, you name it. “Security tools and techniques are commonplace, relatively cheap and convenient, and should be standard operation for anyone with a computer. Period. No excuses,” say Spinney.

* Watch Out For “Free Offers.” Skip free promotions that request your personal information like date of birth and social security number. It could cost you a whole lot more than just “free.”

* Choose Credit Over Debit. If possible, pay online with your credit card rather than a debit card. Credit cards generally offer more consumer protections in case something goes wrong. If your debit card information somehow gets intercepted by ID thieves, you may have a harder time retrieving stolen money. “The trick is that you’ve got to monitor your cards like a hawk. Set up purchase alerts to notify – text or email – when a card is used,” suggests Spinney.

* Avoid Suspicious Links. Phishing scams, which are email scams that lure you into taking some sort of action like verifying a username/password or entering credit information under false pretenses, run rampant around the holidays. Often identity thieves will send out emails or Facebook messages pretending to represent a great cause, charity or even someone you know, all to get you to give up personal information. Never respond to any emails, click on links or download files you weren’t expecting.

Firesheep: A Process Known as “Sidejacking” - - An Emerging Threat to Free Internet Access Users in a Public Place

Few days back we featured a device, Keylogger, that is threatening the internet users who use the internet on the public places. Such keylogging devices can be used to steal personal information from unsuspecting computer users.

Recently another threat is rising to the innocent users of internet. The culprit: an Internet browser plug-in tool called Firesheep.

Enjoying free Internet access in a public place is a luxury many Canadians take for granted. Coffee shops, for instance, are famous for providing free WiFi hookups, enabling patrons to check their email and browse social networks like Facebook. Yet going online in a public place is becoming increasingly risky, as a new type of tech trickery is being employed by criminals to access your private information, and even hijack your online persona.

Firesheep works by scanning a network in search of any traffic containing a “cookie”—a tiny piece of information that websites transmit to a visitor when they start a session. Most websites protect passwords by encrypting the initial log-in, but don’t encrypt everything else. This leaves the cookie vulnerable and opens the door for someone within range to access the account using Firesheep, a process known as “sidejacking.” Once the intruder is in, they can silently access users’ data from sites like Facebook and Twitter, and send messages and upload pictures.

To combat the problem, Firefox has introduced a plug-in tool called BlackSheep. But it only detects when Firesheep is running and can’t stop it. Unfortunately for the average computer user, the more secure methods of fending off attacks require a certain degree of technical know-how. Ultimately, the best preventative measure is to avoid using free Wi-Fi Internet in public altogether.

This latest attack on social media networks comes as cybercrime is hitting an all-time high. In 2009, according to the IT security firm Sophos, reports of malware and spam on social networks rose 70 per cent. Meanwhile, Hotmail, Gmail, YahooMail and AOL mail are currently fighting to curtail “phishing” scams, whereby users are tricked into giving up certain credentials, such as a password. Last year the number of phishing scams spiked by 200 per cent, according to IBM, and there is little hope that the wave of criminal activity will subside.

Hackers, even the most inexperienced ones, can earn lucrative profits without incurring any expenses, because the tool kits needed to complete the crimes can be found online, for free.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Highly Confidential (Cash Winner 2010): Claim Your Prize of $ 400,000 Before 29th of December 2010 - - Another Free Lotto Scam Using the Name of AUSTRALIAN LOTTERY PROGRAM

Beware! Its Cyber World - - Lottery Scam

Few days back a lottery scam was discussed here at "Beware! Its a cyber World" in which the name of AUSTRALIA LOTTERY INCORPORATION was used. Now Another version of the same type of scam is available to misguide innocent internet users. The following email I received today only and found it worth-sharing with my readers; so that any kind of victimization can be minimized.



The mail is forwarded from maryjack6307@yahoo.com and been instructed to contact Mr. Kenneth Moss at kennethmoss.office@yahoo.com.

This is a total internet fraud, like many before shared here

Dear readers, don't believe it and don't respond to any of the contacts given in the mail whether it is Mary Jack or Kenneth Moss. Your any kind of response will make them sure that your email address is live and you will start getting hell of spam mails.


The following email hit my inbox yesterday only. 

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

From: Australian Lottery 2010 Notification. (maryjack6307@yahoo.com)
Sent: Wed, November 24, 2010 2:28:33 AM
Subject: Highly Confidential (Cash Winner 2010)


Desk of the Vice President Australia International Lottery Corporation.
Date: 23rd November, 2010
Ref: 575061725
Batch: 8056490902/188
Lotto type : mega million
Winning number: 111326344448

Dear Winner,

This is to inform you that your Email Address have emerged winner of the AUSTRALIAN LOTTERY PROGRAM .You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of $400,000 USD ( FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND AMERICAN DOLLARS)..

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE

To file for your claim . Please quote your Date of draw,Reference Number, Batch Number and Winning Number, which can be found on the top-left corner of this message to your claims agent Mr. Kenneth Moss immediately. He will direct you on how to receive your winning prize. Also, you should give in your telephone number to help locate your file easily. For security reasons, we advice all winners to keep this information confidential from the public until your claim is processed and your prize has been released to you and also to the public. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted taking advantage of this program by non-participant or unofficial/unauthorized personnel.

HOW TO CONTACT YOUR AGENT

Simply contact your agent with the contact details;

Kenneth Moss(Mr.)
Tel: +44-703-598-7561
Email: kennethmoss.office@yahoo.com

Note: All winnings MUST be claimed before the 29th of December 2010; otherwise all funds will be canceled.

Yours Faithfully,
Mary Jack
Online Coordinator for
AUSTRALIA LOTTERY INC.

Copyright 1999-2010 Australia lotto International . All right Reserved.
========================================================

Be careful and beware! its a cyber world and, according to latest research of Norton, two third of internet users are subject to be victimization of internet fraud, online scams or cybercrime.

Warning Message Asking for "Check Cash Receipt" - - Reality of the Cash Back Scam Unsing Name of Sainsbury's and Other Big Stores of UK

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

A message through email and social networks that warns shoppers to always check their receipts before leaving the check-out at Sainsbury's and other United Kingdom stores because many people are being caught out by a scam in which unscrupulous cashiers add unauthorized cash back requests to transactions and pocket the cash rather than give it to customers.

Actually, the warning is totally baseless. There is no credible evidence to support the claim that such a scam is regularly or commonly taking place in the UK. The UK based message is nothing more than a mutated version of earlier US based warnings that have circulated since 2004. The US versions are also unsubstantiated and unsupported by any credible evidence.

Let's have a look to the contents of the message:

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

Subject: CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS/THIS IS NOT A JOKE PLEASE READ

CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS BEFORE LEAVING THE CHECK-OUT


I bought a bunch of stuff, over £150, & I glanced at my receipt as the cashier was handing me the bags. I saw a cash-back of £40. I told her I didn't request a cash back & to delete it. She said I'd have to take the £40 because she couldn't delete it. I told Her to call a supervisor. Supervisor came & said I'd have to take it.. I said NO! Taking the £40 would be a cash advance against my Credit card & I wasn't paying interest on a cash advance!!!!! If they couldn't delete it then they would have to delete the whole order. So the supervisor had the cashier delete the whole order & re-scan everything! The second time I looked at the electronic pad before I signed & a cash-back of £20 popped up. At that point I told the cashier & she deleted it. The total came out right. The cashier agreed that the Electronic Pad must be defective.

Obviously the cashier knew the electronic pad was defective because she NEVER offered me the £40 at the beginning. Can you imagine how many people went through before me & at the end of her shift how much money she pocketed?

Just to alert everyone. My co worker went to Milford , Sainsburys last week. She had her items rung up by the cashier. The cashier hurried her along and didn't give her a receipt. She asked the cashier for a receipt and the cashier was annoyed and gave it to her. My co worker didn't look at her receipt until later that night. The receipt showed that she asked for £20 cash back. SHE DID NOT ASK FOR CASH BACK!

My co-worker called Sainsburys who investigated but could not see the cashier pocket the money. She then called her niece who works for the bank and her niece told her this. This is a new scam going on. The cashier will key in that you asked for cash back and then hand it to her friend who is the next person in the queue.

Please, please, please check your receipts right away when using credit or debit cards!

This is NOT limited to Sainsburys; they are one of the largest retailers so they have the most incidents.

I am adding to this. My husband and I were in Sainsburys and paying with credit card when my husband went to sign the credit card signer he just happen to notice there was a £20 cash back added. He told the cashier that he did not ask nor want cash back and she said this machine has been messing up and she canceled it. We really didn't think anything of it until we read this email.

I wonder how many "seniors" have been, or will be, "stung" by this one????

To make matters worse ...THIS SCAM CAN BE DONE ANYWHERE, AT ANY RETAIL OR WHOLESALE LOCATION!!!

BEFORE LEAVING THE CHECK-OUT........CHECK YOUR RECEIPT!!!!!

THIS COULD HAPPEN ANYWHERE. CHECK YOUR RECEIPT BEFORE LEAVING THE STAND. I'VE SEEN PEOPLE DO JUST THAT. NOW I'LL START! PASS THIS ON TO YOUR FRIENDS, KIDS, LOVED ONES. 

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

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

This widely circulated email advises shoppers to always check receipts before leaving the checkout because of a cash back scam that it claims is currently taking place in Sainsbury's stores and other outlets in the United Kingdom. According to the warning, unscrupulous cashiers are regularly stealing money from unsuspecting customers by making unauthorized cash back requests during card transactions and keeping the cash for themselves. The message warns that, unless shoppers carefully check receipts, they might not realize that an unrequested cash back has been added to their transaction. The message describes an incident of the scam that supposedly occurred at a Sainsbury's store in Milford in which a shopper discovered a £20 cash back on her shopping receipt that she did not receive or request.

However, there is no credible evidence to suggest that such scams are currently taking place in the UK. If the scam described was as common and as widespread as implied in this warning email, there would certainly be news and police reports available that discuss the issue. In fact, there is no mention of such scam attempts currently taking place in any credible UK based media outlets.

In fact, the warning is nothing more than a variant of earlier US warnings that have circulated in various forms since 2004. The UK based variant substitutes UK shopping outlet Sainsbury's for Walmart, which "featured" in the original US versions. The currency has also been changed from dollars to pounds. As the following 2009 US based example reveals, the UK and US versions are otherwise virtually identical:
It happened to me at Wal-Mart a month ago. I bought a bunch of stuff, over $150, & I glanced at my receipt as the cashier was handing me the bags. I saw a cash-back of $40. I told her I didn't request a cash back & to delete it. She said I'd have to take the $40 because she couldn't delete it. I told her to call a supervisor. Supervisor came & said I'd have to take it. I said NO! Taking the $40 would be a cash advance against my Discover & I wasn't paying interest on a cash advance!!!!! If they couldn't delete it then they would have to delete the whole order. So the supervisor had the cashier delete the whole order & re-scan everything! The second time I looked at the electronic pad before I signed & a cash-back of $20 popped up. At that point I told the cashier & she deleted it. The total came out right. The cashier agreed that the electronic pad must be defective. Obviously the cashier knew the electronic pad was defective because she NEVER offered me the $40 at the beginning. Can you imagine how many people went through before me & at the end of her shift how much money she pocketed?

Just to alert everyone. My co worker went to Milford DE Walmart last week. She had her items rung up by the cashier. The cashier hurried her along and didn't give her a receipt. She asked the cashier for a receipt and the cashier was annoyed and gave it to her. My co worker didn't look at her receipt until later that night. The receipt showed that she asked for $20 cash back. SHE DID NOT ASK FOR CASH BACK. My co worker called Walmart who investigated but could not see the cashier pocket the money. She then called her niece who works for the bank and her niece told her this. There is a scam going on. The cashier will ask for cash back and hand it to her friend who is the next person in line.

Please, Please, please check your receipts right away when using debit cards. The store has the cashier under investigation now. We can only pray that she is caught very soon.
Thus, it seems that some prankster has used the earlier US version as a template to create a variant to fit the UK. The person who crafted the UK version of the "warning" did not even bother to change the name of the city where one of the scam attempts supposedly occurred, apparently realizing that "Milford" could fit both a US and a UK context.

Moreover, the US versions of the warning are also unsubstantiated. There is no credible evidence to suggest that such scams have taken place at Walmart stores in the United States.

While Point-of-Sale procedures may vary somewhat from place to place, most modern systems require customers to swipe or insert credit or debit cards themselves and confirm transaction amounts before the sale is completed. In fact, many systems now require the customer to initiate cash back requests themselves via the card transaction device.

Of course, as with any arena, some shop cashiers may be dishonest. It is conceivable that in some circumstances an unscrupulous operator could add a cash back request to a transaction and get away with it because an inattentive customer inadvertently confirmed the request via the card machine. However, despite this possibility, it is highly unlikely that scams like the one described are regularly and commonly taking place as implied in these warning messages. As noted above, these warnings have been circulating for several years in the US and have now "jumped the pond" to the UK. Thus, if such scams were really taking place regularly and in many different locations as suggested in the warning messages, law enforcement authorities along with outlets such as Walmart would have taken steps to shut them down and prosecute offenders long ago.

In essence, the advice to check receipts while still at the checkout is probably well worth heeding. If fraud attempts or - much more commonly - genuine mistakes do occur they are of course best sorted out at the time of the transaction. Customers should also take care that the figure that they are asked to confirm during card transactions is what they expected. That said, however, sending on spurious, totally unsubstantiated scam warnings such as the one discussed here is unlikely to be at all helpful.

Is "Christmas tree app" a Destructive Trojan Virus - - Analysis and Reality of Facebook Message Requested to be Re-posted

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

A rapidly circulating message on Facebook warns users not to install the "Christmas tree app" because it is a destructive Trojan virus.

In fact, the warning is invalid and should not be re-posted. The message is a hoax. There is no virus or Trojan like the one described in the message.

Let's have a look to the message posted on the Facebook:

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

WARNING!!! DO NOT LOAD the Christmas tree app. It will crash your computer. Geeksquad says it's one of the WORST trojan viruses there is and it is spreading quickly. Please re-post and let your friends know ....



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

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

According to this warning message that is currently circulating rapidly around social network Facebook, users should be careful not to install a Facebook application called "Christmas tree" because it is a "trojan virus". The message warns that the app has been identified by Geeksquad as one of the worst trojan viruses ever and is spreading quickly. It asks users to re-post the warning so that others will know about the supposed threat.

However, the claims in the message are untrue. There is no computer security threat like the one described in the warning. In fact, the warning is just one more in a long line of utterly pointless virus hoaxes that have circulated for years, at first mainly via email and more lately via social networking as well.

Sophos security expert Graham Cluley has denounced the warning as a hoax, noting in a recent blog post:
Thousands of Facebook users are warning each other about a Christmas Tree virus said to be spreading in the form of a rogue application on the social network.

The only problem with this warning? It's utterly bogus.
Moreover, Geeksquad, the entity listed in the bogus warning message as having identified the supposed threat, has denied any involvement, noting in an alert on its website:
In actuality, Geek Squad has not officially investigated this particular application, nor have we identified it as the source of any infections in any cases we have supported.
And the supposed threat is not listed on any reputable computer security site other than those that identify it as a hoax.

In fact, there are a number of Facebook applications that have the words"Christmas Tree" in their names. However, at this time, none appear to pose any security threat to users, certainly not the destructive "trojan virus", discussed in the warning message. Certainly, as with all things Facebook, users should use due caution when following links or installing applications. It is even possible that someone will, at some point, actually create a rogue Facebook application that masquerades as a Christmas tree.

But that vague possibility does nothing whatsoever to justify the continued spread of this nonsensical warning message. It is important that Facebook users check the veracity of the information they send on via reputable sources. Re-posting such pointless nonsense will certainly do nothing to help. In fact, continued re-posting of such misinformation only adds to the pointless clutter already inundating Facebook. Ironically, because they spread so rapidly and cause so much unnecessary confusion and alarm, such bogus virus warnings often become as much of a nuisance as real computer viruses or worms.

If you receive this hoax message, please do not pass it on to others. And please take a moment to let the original poster know that the information in the warning is false.

Friday, November 19, 2010

30% OFF on All Stocks - - Reality of the Mail Containing Dan Murphy's 30% Discount Voucher

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

A widely spreading email with a voucher offers recipients 30% off all products at Australian liquor outlet Dan Murphy's between 25th and 28th November 2010.

Readers might remember the same type of hoax was discussed here involving Red Robins (Happy Burger Day). In the same way, the current discount voucher is total fake and did not originate from Dan Murphy's. The offer is not valid and the voucher cannot be redeemed at Dan Murphy's stores.

Let's have a look to the mail contents and attached Dan Murphy's voucher image below here;

===============================================
Subject: Fw: 30% off voucher at Dan Murphy's

Dan Murphy's

30% off all stock for Family and Friends 25th - 28th November 2010


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

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

A voucher currently circulating via email and online promises the recipient a 30% discount on all stock at Dan Murphy's, an Australian liquor store chain now owned by Woolworths. The voucher comes in the form of an attached .pdf and includes Dan Murphy's logos and seemingly official terms and conditions of use.

However, the voucher is fake and was not issued by Dan Murphy's. The company will not redeem the voucher. Dan Murphy's has published a notice on its website warning customers about the hoax voucher:
WARNING! VOUCHER HOAX

To avoid any disappointment, please be aware that a hoax flyer is being circulated that did not originate from Dan Murphy’s or Woolworths Ltd. The offer states that family and friends can receive 30% off all stock between 25-28 November.

THIS OFFER IS NOT VALID
It is currently unclear who is responsible for the creation and distribution of the fake voucher.

 

Christmas (Holiday Season) Hoaxes - - Reality of PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) Premium Rate Call Scam Warning Using the Name of Royal Mail

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

An email forwarded message warns that a card from PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) informing householders about a package delivery is actually a scam designed to trick them into making a premium rate phone call charged at £1.50 per minute.

In fact, it is not true in 2010; but it was true, but the scam was shut down in late 2005. Despite claims in the warning, the scam is not reoccurring in 2010.
 
Mail contents are presented below:

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

Subject: Postal Scam To Be Aware Of

This is a genuine scam that Royal Mail have been made aware of
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Can you circulate this around especially as Xmas is fast approaching -

it has been confirmed by Royal Mail. The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam:

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              0906 6611911      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (a premium rate number).

DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize.

If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £15 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on [number removed] or ICSTIS (the premium rate service regulator) at www.icstis.org.uk

Please circulate this to avoid anyone else being ripped off.

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

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

This email warning has been circulated since the end of 2005. Recent submissions indicate that the warning is once again rapidly gaining momentum. The information in the message was mostly factual. However, the particular scam described in the message was shut down at the end of 2005 and the information is no longer relevant. The continued forwarding of this warning to others is now pointless and counterproductive.

PhonepayPlus (previously named "ICSTIS"), the UK's regulatory body for all premium rate charged telecommunications services, issued a statement denying any reoccurence of the scam in 2007 and then again in 2009. In response to renewed circulation of the warning in late 2010, PhonepayPlus again republished the statement, noting:

Postal scam chain email – PhonepayPlus’ statement
17/11/2010

PhonepayPlus, the phone-paid services regulator, is aware that a chain e-mail about an alleged postal scam is being circulated on the internet. The email refers to the Royal Mail, Trading Standards and ICSTIS (PhonepayPlus' former name).

PhonepayPlus appreciates that recipients of the email may want to find out more information about the alleged scam and has therefore issued the following statement:

  • The chain email refers to a service (operating on 0906 6611911 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              0906 6611911      end_of_the_skype_highlighting) that was shut down by PhonepayPlus (then ICSTIS) in December 2005.
  • PhonepayPlus subsequently fined the company that was operating the service, Studio Telecom (based in Belize), £10,000.
  • The service is NO LONGER running and has NOT been running since December 2005.
  • You do NOT need to contact PhonepayPlus, or the Royal Mail, about this service as it was stopped almost four years ago.
  • If you receive a copy of the email warning you about the alleged scam, please do NOT forward it to others. Instead, please forward this statement from PhonepayPlus.
  • If you receive a delivery card through your letterbox which you do not believe is genuine and which asks you to dial a premium rate number, you can contact PhonepayPlus on 0800 500 212 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              0800 500 212      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm) for further guidance.
  • Please go to http://www.phonepayplus.org.uk/output/FAQ.aspx for useful information about how to recognise phone-paid services and understand what they cost, and some simple tips to help you enjoy using services with confidence.
  • For more detailed information about PhonepayPlus’ work, please visit www.phonepayplus.org.uk.
There is also no current warnings about this particular scam on either the Trading Standards website or the Royal Mail website.

In fact, as noted above, the phone numbers used in the scam were switched off by ICSTIS in December 2005 and Studio Telecom, the company responsible, was investigated and subsequently fined.

When the scam was operating around December 2005, many UK householders reported receiving a card, ostensibly from a package delivery business named "Parcel Delivery Services" or "PDS". The card advised recipients to phone a number provided in order to arrange delivery of a package, claimed to be a digital camera.

However the contact number was a premium rate line that was charged at £1.50 per minute. A disclaimer in very small print on the bottom of the card informed recipients that the contact number would be charged at a premium rate. Although the cards claimed to originate from Wrexham in the UK, the company responsible for this scam is actually based in Belize, Central America.

At the time the scam was operating, those who called the number were asked to answer a number of market research questions before being given a "security confirmation code" to claim their camera. Callers were therefore kept on the line for some time and charged at a rate of £1.50 per minute. Not surprisingly, none of those who lodged complaints about the scam ever received their digital camera.

Although the scam outlined in the message was true, the claim that an immediate £15 fee was charged as well as the per-minute cost was unfounded.

While this particular scam has now been terminated, premium rate phone fraud is not uncommon. People should watch for similar scams that attempt to trick them into making expensive, premium rate phone calls. Service providers and premium rate phone regulators such as PhonepayPlus will generally provide information to consumers about premium rate scams.

A real problem with emailed warning such as this is that they often continue to circulate for months or even years after the described threat has disappeared. They also tend to mutate as they travel, further diffusing the truth and relevance of the information they contain.

Before forwarding scam warnings, recipients should always check that the warning is genuine and current. False or outdated warning emails such as this one do nothing more than add to the clutter in our already junk-ridden inboxes and spread misinformation.

The 2006 version of the chain email:  

Subject: Fwd: Royal Mail postal scam

FYI
Can you circulate this around especially as Xmas is fast approaching - it has been confirmed by Royal Mail.

The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam: A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Services) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on [number removed](a premium rate number).

DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize. If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £15 for the phone call. If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on [Removed] or ICSTIS (the premium rate service regulator) at www.icstis.org.uk
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