Friday, December 31, 2010

Smartphones Running Android OS Are in Danger From a Destructive Virus - - Reports From Anti-virus Company Lookout Mobile Security

A powerfully destructive virus has been unleashed on the world that targets smartphones, running the Android operating system.

   The anti-virus company Lookout Mobile Security reports hundreds of thousands of phones may already have been infected but it's unknown what the authors are trying to achieve.

   Kevin Mahaffey, chief technology officer for Lookout said, quote, "It could be anything from a malicious advertising network to an attempt to create a botnet."  The primary concern is that people who create computer worms and viruses are turning their attention from attacking PCs to mobile devices.

   Phones have been infected by the new virus after users downloaded software applications that had been repackaged to include the virus.

   Contaminated programs include several video games.

   Infected phones call a remote computer looking for instructions on what to do every five minutes.

   At the same time, information on the phone's location, its hardware ID and SIM card are sent to the remote computer.

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Scareware Distribution Scam is Going on Across Twitter - - Warning From Panda Security

Researchers from Panda Labs, the research laboratory of Panda Security the security company caution that a scareware distribution scam is going on across Twitter that's utilizing both compromised legitimate accounts and bogus user accounts for disseminating malevolent web-links.

The related spam mails, according to the researchers, which talk about an extremely good anti-virus downloadable from http://goo.gl/[censored], however, take onto a harmful web-page exhibiting bogus security warnings which reportedly suit every browser. Thus, users of Firefox, say, will find one bogus warning page that's usually displayed while attempts are made to access a blacklisted web-address.

Moreover, the bogus Firefox warning page's message appears considerably varied from one that is real. According to this message, users are told of a fast security scan for malicious programs that's being carried out. Once completed, the message asserts about numerous problems that have been discovered on the users' computers therefore they must take down security applications that apparently Mozilla recommended.

But, the recommended application in reality is rogue anti-virus software called ThinkPoint, which prevents users from getting onto their desktops.

Consequently, computer operators begin to perform a system reboot, but on doing so, the rogueware penetrates the computer even deeper. As a result, the victims are forced to acquiesce paying up for removing the malicious programs from their systems.

However, according to the PandaLabs researchers, there's an easy tactic with which users can get around this restriction. That is, opening the fake anti-virus application's settings menu and clicking on "Allow Unprotected Startup." Thereafter, an anti-malware program must be installed and run for eliminating the threats.
Furthermore, the researchers also suggest that end-users should be certain as well as cautious while choosing the posts on Twitter failing which they may land up in trouble like in the recent case.

Meanwhile, PandaLabs forecasts that similar scareware scams through social networks are expected through 2011.
Ultimately, it's because of these kinds of malicious happenings that scareware scams have surged online. In its new report, Panda Security states that a huge 40% of completely new FAKEAV (fake anti-virus) applications were unleashed during 2010 that contaminated more than 5% PCs across the globe.

Power Point Presentation 'Life is beautiful' - - A Deadly Virus Hoax Not to Be Forwarded

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

Widely spreading warning message claims that an email with an attached Power Point presentation called "Life is beautiful" is a virus that will destroy all files on the infected computer.

In fact, the information in the message is false. There is not, nor has there ever been a virus like the one described in this message. The email is a hoax and should not be forwarded to others. 

Let's have a look towards the contents of the mail:

============================================================
Subject: FW: Fwd: FW: Fwd: READ IMMEDIATELY AND INFORM ALL

Please Be Extremely Careful especially if using internet mail such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and so on.

This information arrived this morning direct from both Microsoft and Norton.

Please send it to everybody you know who has access to the Internet.

You may receive an apparently harmless email with a Power Point presentation

'Life is beautiful.'

If you receive it DO NOT OPEN THE FILE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES , and delete it immediately.

If you open this file, a message will appear on your screen saying: 'It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful.'

Subsequently you will LOSE EVERYTHING IN YOUR PC and the person who sent it to you will gain access to your name, e-mail and password.

This is a new virus which started to circulate on Tuesday afternoon.

AOL has already confirmed the severity, and the antivirus software's are not capable of destroying it.

The virus has been created by a hacker who calls himself 'life owner'

PLEASE SEND A COPY OF THIS EMAIL TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS and ask them to PASS IT ON IMMEDIATELY
====================================================
Beware! Its aCyber World - - Explanation:

This "warning" claims that a very destructive virus disguised as a Power Point Presentation called "Life is beautiful" is currently being distributed via email. However, there is not, nor has there ever been a virus like the one described in this message.

There are several variants of the hoax, including versions in Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian and several other languages. The message tries to add authority to its claims by mentioning high-profile companies such as Microsoft and AOL. Incidentally, Microsoft does not send out unsolicited virus warnings. Moreover, "Norton" is the name given to a range of security software products sold by Symantec Corp. Thus, information about virus threats is published by "Symantec", not "Norton". In this case, Symantec has published information about the "Life is beautiful" message - but only to denounce it as a hoax.

This hoax started circulating in early 2002 and it has been passed around ever since. In spite of a great deal of online exposure, the hoax tends to resurge from time to time and its rate of circulation increases dramatically for a few months. As hoax emails go, this is one of the most "successful". Perhaps because of the apparent destructiveness of the "virus" and the urgent tone of the warning, people are apt to forward the message without much forethought. Like many other hoaxes, it capitalizes on the recipient's desire to help other Internet users by warning them of a perceived threat.

Before forwarding a virus warning email, it is always a good idea to check that the information in the message is valid. Virus hoaxes are quite common, and like this one, they tend to circulate for years after they are first launched. In other cases, virus warnings that may have been originally true circulate long after the described virus has ceased to be a significant threat. Virus hoaxes and outdated warnings are no help to anybody. All they do is waste time, cause confusion and needlessly clutter in-boxes. Such problems mean that forwarding warning emails may not be the best way to help battle viruses and other computer security threats.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mail Forward Charity Hoax - - Reality of The Mail Containing Photographs of Facial Deformed Child

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

An recently spreading email message that contains photographs of a young child with a severe facial deformity claims that money will be contributed to help pay for the child's operation every time the email is forwarded.

IN fact, the claims in the message are false. You certainly cannot help the child in the photographs just by forwarding the email. Money will NOT be donated to pay for an operation in exchange for sending on the email. The message is just one more in a long line of heartless hoaxes that claim that you can help a sick or injured child by forwarding an email. 

Let's have look to the mail and its contents:
===========================================================
Subject: Fw: HELP NEEDED FOR A BABY - KEEP FORWARDING

Hi! All

PLEASE KEEP FORWARDING THIS E-MAIL, SO AS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE CHILD'S FUND-RAISING. JUST FORWARD TO AS MANY (ACROSS THE GLOBE) AND YOU'LL HAVE MADE YOUR CONTRIBUTION.

THE MINUTE YOU SEND THE EMAIL TO SOMEONE ELSE, THERE IS A CERTAIN CONTRIBUTION GOES TOWARDS HIS OPERATION FUNDS.




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

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

According to this widely circulated message, you can help the child depicted in the attached images simply by forwarding the email to others. The unidentified child in the photographs has a severe facial deformity. The message claims that, each time you send the email to another person, money will be contributed to a fund that will help pay for an operation on the child. Thus, the message urges recipients to send the email to as many people around the globe as possible to help in the fund-raising effort.

However, the claims in the message are utter nonsense. Forwarding on this email will do nothing whatsoever to help this child. In fact, the message is just one more in a long, sorry line of similar hoaxes that make the absurd claim that money will be donated to help a child in need when a particular email is forwarded. All such messages are false.

As such hoaxes go, this version is even more ridiculous than usual. Unlike other versions, this hoax does not even bother to name the organization that is supposedly donating the funds. Nor does it mention how much money will supposedly be donated per email forward. Even in the vastly unlikely event that this generous but secretive organization did agree to participate in such an absurd fund-raising scheme, there is simply no reliable or ethical method of tracking the random and convoluted journey of one particular email forward. Therefore, there would be no way of accurately calculating just how much money was due to be donated.

Since the hoax message gives no clue as to who the child in the photographs is or where he lives, I have so far been unable to ascertain the child's current condition and situation. While some commentators have suggested that the images may have been digitally manipulated, I see no evidence to suggest that such a manipulation has occurred. Sadly, such facial deformities are not uncommon, especially in developing nations where poverty or lack of adequate medical resources may prevent early intervention and ongoing treatment. It may well be that this child does, or did require financial support to help him with his condition. However, sending on this heartless and nasty prank email will certainly do nothing to help him.

In reality, no organization is ever likely to base their contribution to a fund raising effort on how many times an email is forwarded. Any message that claims that money will be donated whenever an email is forwarded is sure to be a hoax. Pranksters create such hoaxes because they are an effective method of ensuring that their nonsense messages continue to circulate for months or even years on end. Many well-meaning people who receive one of these messages genuinely think that they are helping by sending them on, thereby ensuring that the hoaxes keep fruitlessly circulating.

If you receive one of these "money for forwarding" hoaxes, please help to stop its continued spread by NOT sending it on to others. Rest assured that sending on such an email will do nothing whatsoever to help a child in need.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Amazing Typewriter/WOW! - - Reality of Mail Containing Artwork Created by American Artist Paul Smith Using Typewriter

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

An email message with a series of attached photographs/images claims that the pictures were created on a typewriter by the artist Paul Smith.

Sometimes we receive such an amazing email which is very close to be the "Hoax", because we can't believe them apparently; but the claims in the email are "TRUE". This amazing artwork created by American artist Paul Smith using just a typewriter, powered by his imagination and brilliance. He passed away in June, 2007. 

Let's have a look to the mail and its contents:

=======================================================
Subject: Amazing Typewriter/WOW!

He lived at Rose Haven Nursing Home, Roseburg, OR, for years.

This is incredible--especially when you finally get to the bottom and read the biography of the man who painstakingly accomplished these works!

These pictures are unbelievable and amazing. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Typewriter Art Can you believe that this art was created using a typewriter?




Paul Smith, the man with extraordinary talent was born in Philadelphia on September 21, 1921 with severe cerebral palsy. Not only had Paul beaten the odds of a life with spastic cerebral palsy, a disability that impeded his speech & mobility but also taught himself to become a master artist as well as a terrific chess player even after being devoid of a formal education as a child.

When typing, Paul used his left hand to steady his right one.. Since he couldn't press two keys at the same time, he almost always locked the shift key down and made his pictures using the symbols at the top of the number keys. In other words, his pictures were based on these characters ..... @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ .

Across seven decades, Paul created hundreds of pictures. He often gave the originals away. Sometimes, but not always, he kept or received a copy for his own records.

As his mastery of the typewriter grew, he developed techniques to create shadings, colors, and textures that made his work resemble pencil or charcoal drawings." This great man passed away on June 25, 2007, but left behind a collection of his amazing artwork that will be an inspiration for many.

Editor's note: The message generally circulates with many other examples of Paul Smith's work, which have been omitted from this example. You can view these pictures and more via the artist's website
 =============================================
Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:


This email forward, which features the work of artist Paul Smith, explains that all of the pictures were created using just a typewriter.

The claims in the email are true. The extraordinary art of Paul Smith was indeed created on a typewriter and is now known all around the world. This inspirational man, who did not allow severe cerebral palsy to stop him from living a remarkable life, was an accomplished chess player as well as an artist.

Paul was born in Philadelphia on September 21, 1921. He died on June 25, 2007 while a resident of the Rose Haven Nursing Center in Roseburg, Oregon.

More details about the artist, along with galleries of his work, are available on the Paul Smith Foundation website. An article on the Chessville website also provides an interesting insight into the artist's life.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another Scam for Facebook Users - - 'Facebook Account Update' Phishing Scam

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

An recently spreading email, purporting to be from Facebook, claims that Facebook is implementing a new log-in system and that the user must therefore follow a link in the message to update his or her account.

In fact, this a clear cut phishing scam by cybercriminals just to steal the recipients' log-in details and information to use the use for their malicious puposes in the future. 

Let's have a look to mail contents below here:
=========================================================
Subject: Facebook Account Update

Dear Facebook user,

In an effort to make your online experience safer and more enjoyable, Facebook will be implementing a new login system that will affect all Facebook users. These changes will offer new features and increased account security.

Before you are able to use the new login system, you will be required to update your account.
Click here to update your account online now.

If you have any questions, reference our New User Guide.
Thanks,
The Facebook Team

========================================================
Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

This email, which purports to be from social networking website, Facebook, claims that Facebook is about to implement a new login system. The message claims that Facebook users must follow a link in the message to update their details before they will be able to use the new system.

However, the email is not from Facebook and the claim that Facebook users are required to update their account details is untrue. In fact, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal Facebook login details from unsuspecting users. To further the illusion of legitimacy, the email is designed and formatted to resemble a genuine Facebook message. Those who fall for the ruse and follow the link in the bogus email will be taken to the following fake Facebook login page:


The fake login page has been created so that it looks like a genuine Facebook login.

If a victim enters his or her username and password on the bogus page and clicks the "Login" button, the following pop-up notice will be displayed:


The notice claims that the account confirmation has been completed. Clicking the "OK" button takes the user to the genuine Facebook website.

Users who submit their login details on the fake page will actually be sending their username and password directly to the criminals running the phishing scam. Because the scam notice redirects to the genuine Facebook website, the victim may not realize that his or her account has been compromised until it is too late.

Once they have stolen this information, the scammers can then login to their victim's real Facebook account and pose as the genuine user. They can also change account details thereby effectively locking the genuine user out of his or her Facebook account. Having successfully hijacked the user's account, the scammers can then use it to post spam and scam messages in the victim's name and steal any personal information stored in the account.

Phishing scammers regularly target Facebook users. Users should be very cautious of any email that claims to be from Facebook and asks them to click a link and provide login or other personal information.

"Slow Dance" An Heart-melting Poem By a Small Girl Dying With Cancer - - Charity Hoax: Donation for Each Mail Forward

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

Forwarded email message that features a poem called "Slow Dance" claims that the poem was written by a young girl suffering from cancer and that the American Cancer Society will donate money to help the poor girl every time the message is forwarded.

In fact, the claims in the message are false. It's another form of 'Charity Scams'. The American Cancer Society will certainly not donate money based on how many times an email is forwarded. Sending on the email will help nobody. The email is just one in a long line of absurd hoaxes that claim that money will be donated in exchange for forwarding an email. Any message that makes such a claim is sure to be a hoax and should not be sent on.

Let's have a look to the contents of the mail and the impressive wording of the poem:
================================================================
Subject: FW: Slow Dance - A Last Request.

I don't normally send these on....but this one brought a lump to my throat.....

_______________________________

This is a poem written by a teenager with cancer.

She wants to see how many people get her poem. It is quite the poem. Please pass it on. This poem was written by a terminally ill young girl in a New York Hospital. It was sent by a medical doctor.

Make sure to read what is in the closing statement AFTER THE POEM.

SLOW DANCE

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask How are you?
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?
You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say,"Hi"
You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.

The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift.....
Thrown away.
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower

Hear the music

Before the song is over.

--------------------

FORWARDED E-MAILS ARE TRACKED TO OBTAIN THE TOTAL COUNT.

Dear All:
PLEASE pass this mail on to everyone you know - even to those you don't know! It is the request of a special girl who will soon leave this world due to cancer.

This young girl has 6 months left to live, and as her dying wish, she wanted to send a letter telling everyone to live their life to the fullest, since she never will.

She'll never make it to prom, graduate from high school, or get married and have a family of her own

By you sending this to as many people as possible, you can give her and her family a little hope, because with every name that this is sent to, The American Cancer Society will donate 3 cents per name to her treatment and recovery plan. One guy sent this to 500 people! So I know that we can at least send it to 5 or 6. It's not even your money, just your time!

PLEASE PASS ON AS A LAST REQUEST

Dr. Dennis Shields, Professor
Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Bronx, New York 10461
============================================================
Beware! It's a Cyber World - - Explanation:  

This hoax email has been circulating almost continually since at least 2005. The message claims that, for every time that the email is forwarded to another person, the American Cancer Society will donate 3 cents to help pay for a "treatment and recovery plan" to help a terminally ill child. According to the message, recipients can therefore help this child simply by sending on the message to as many people as possible.

However, the claims in the message are untrue. The American Cancer Society certainly will not donate money every time the message is forwarded. In fact, the message is just one more in a long line of foolish hoaxes that claim that an email is being tracked in some way and that money will be donated every time a message is forwarded. Such claims are simply absurd. No legitimate company or organization would agree to donate money based on how many times a particular email is forwarded. Furthermore, there is no reliable, or ethical, method of tracking the journey of one particular email that may ultimately be forwarded thousands of times. Any message that attempts to convince recipients that a charitable campaign relies on the random forwarding of an email is sure to be a hoax.

"Slow Dance", the poem tacked onto the top of the email, was not written by "a terminally ill young girl in a New York Hospital" or a "teenager with cancer". In fact, the piece was penned by David L. Weatherford, poet and child psychologist. "Slow Dance" can be viewed on the poet's website.
The American Cancer Society has denied any involvement and has the following disclaimer on its website:
The email is thought to be a revised version of an email that has been around in some form or another since at least 1997. The American Cancer Society is in no way involved in this effort, and never lends its name to chain emails. We certainly do understand the good intentions of those who respond to the email, and hope people who do want to help will find legitimate ways to assist the millions of cancer patients who rely on reputable organizations to improve the daily lives of cancer survivors, and reduce the suffering caused by cancer.
Furthermore, the email was not sent by Dr. Dennis Sheilds as claimed. Although Dr. Dennis Sheilds is a real person, and a faculty member at the Albert Einstein College Of Medicine, it appears that his name was added to the message without his permission. A page on the AECOM website states that:
Dr. Dennis Sheilds is a faculty member at AECOM and he does have an e-mail address. However, information received from earlier complaints show that his name was signed to the message but it was not sent from his e-mail address. This suggests that this message is a forgery.
The hoax appears to have evolved out of an earlier hoax that named the dying child as Jessica Mydek (See example below). According to the ACS, "the story of Jessica Mydek has never been substantiated. The American Cancer Society does not endorse fundraising efforts using chain letters of any kind."

This email and others like it should be deleted rather than forwarded. Forwarding such messages does nothing whatsoever to help sick children. In fact, such hoaxes cause unnecessary problems for organizations such as the American Cancer Society who must waste precious time and resources responding to queries about such supposed charity campaigns. If you receive this hoax message or another like it, please do not make the problem worse by sending it on to others. And please take a moment to let the sender know that the message is a hoax.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Compensation From RBI (Govetnment of India) of 85 Lakhs (Rs. 8.5 Million) - - A Compensation Scam Devised to Steal Your Money and Personal Information

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

A wide-spread email implying to be from the Government of India testifies that the recipient is eligible to receive the sum of eighty five lahks (Rs. 8.5 million) as a government payment to support him or her establish a business.

In fact, the email is not from the Government of India and the promised award does not exist on the earth. The message is a form of 'Compensation Scam' devised to cheat recipients into sending money as processing fee and personal information to cybercriminals. 

Let's see the contents of the mail:
=======================================================
From: INDIA GOVERNMENT COMPENSATION

Subject: MESSAGE FROM THE INDIA GOVERNMENT


THIS IS TO BRING TO YOUR NOTICE THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA HAVE CONCLUDED TO COMPENSATE SOME INDIA CITIZEN JOB SEEKER WITH THE SUM OF EIGHTY FIVE LAHKS (85LAHKS) TO ENABLE THEM SETUP THEIR OWN BUSINESS OR FIRM OF THEIR CHOICE. BE INFORMED THAT YOUR EMAIL WAS CHOSEN AS ONE OF THE GREAT BENEFICIARIES. YOUR EMAIL WAS SELECTED AMONG THE JOB OFFERS RESUME THAT YOU HAVE POSTED AND IT WAS MAINLY SELECTED FROM THE TIME JOB OFFICE IN INDIA.

WE THE INDIA GOVERNMENT ARE TO PERSONALLY CONGRATULATE YOU FOR THIS GREAT AWARD FROM THE INDIA GOVERNMENT. ALL YOU ARE ADVICE TO DO IS TO USE THE FUND AWARDED TO YOU JUDICIOUSLY AND EMPLOY OTHER JOB SEEKERS TO WORK FOR YOU IN YOUR BUSINESS FIRM OR ORGANIZATION THAT YOU ARE TO ESTABLISH WITH THE AWARDED FUND. YOUR WRITTEN CHEQUE OF EIGHTY FIVE LAHKS (85LAHKS) HAS BEEN ISSUED TO THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA (RBI) FOR THE TRANSFER TO YOUR ACCOUNT.

ALL YOU ARE NEEDED TO DO AT THIS POINT IN TIME IS TO CONTACT THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA (RBI) VIA EMAIL WITH THIS BELOW DETAILS STATED BELOW.

FILL THE BELOW DETAILS TO THE FINANCE MANAGER 1. BENEFICIARY FULL NAMES:
2. BENEFICIARY FULL HOME ADDRESSEE:
3. BENEFICIARY TELEPHONE NUMBER:
4. BENEFICIARY BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS:
5. BENEFICIARY AGE:
6. BENEFICIARY RECENT PASSPORT OR PAN CARD:

CONTACT THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA RBI WITH THE BELOW DETAILS FOR THE TRANSFER OF YOUR AWARDED AMOUNT.
SHRI G. PADMANABHAN,
CHIEF GENERAL MANAGER
DEPARTMENT OF PAYMENT AND SETTLEMENT SYSTEMS RESERVE BANK OF INDIA.
EMAIL: rbi2@accountant.com

AS SOON AS YOU CONTACT THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA (RBI) WITH THE BELOW DETAILS, YOUR AWARDED FUNDS OF EIGHTY FIVE LAHKS (85LAHKS) ISSUED TO YOU BY THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND THE INDIA MINISTRY OF WORK WILL BE TRANSFERRED INTO YOUR ACCOUNT. BE INFORMED THAT YOU ARE TO START ACCESSING YOUR EMAIL EACH AND EVERYDAY AT THE CONFIRMATION OF THIS AWARDED FUND TO ENABLE YOU KNOW WHEN THE AWARDED FUND WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO YOUR ACCOUNT BY THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA (RBI).
=========================================================
Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

According to this email the recipient has been chosen to receive a substantial sum of money from the Indian Government. The email, which purports to be a message from the Indian Government, claims that the recipient has been awarded the sum of eighty five lahks (Rs. 8.5 million) as a government payment to enable him or her to set up a business and possibly employ "other job seekers". In order to claim the "award" the recipient is instructed to email personal and financial details to a "finance manager" at the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI). Supposedly, after the recipient provides the requested information, the award money will be transferred by the RBI directly into his or her bank account.

However, the email is certainly not from the Indian Government and the promised award is simply the bait designed to fool victims into sending money and private information to Internet criminals. Those who fall for the ruse and contact the bogus "finance manager", will soon be ask to send upfront fees, ostensibly required to allow the award to be processed. The scammers will insist that these fees cannot, under any circumstances, be deducted from the award itself and must be paid in full before the fund can be transferred. As the scam progresses, the scammers will invent more and more fictitious fees and charges - such as supposed insurance costs, tax payments, bank transfer fees and others - until the victim either runs out of money to send or finally realizes that he or she is being conned.

Moreover, if a recipient replies to the message as requested the scammers may also gather enough personal information to allow them to steal their victim's identity. The scam message asks for contact and banking details along with a copy of a recent passport or the victim's PAN details. The PAN or Permanent Account Number is a ten-digit alphanumeric code issued as an identifier by the Indian Income Tax Department. Such information is very valuable to identity thieves. The scammers may also request even more personal information from victims during the course of the scam.

If you receive an email like the one above, do not reply or respond to the scammers in any way. Do not send any personal information. Do not send money. Advance fee scammers use a great many cover stories to reap new victims. Be wary of any email, fax, letter or social network message that claims that you are eligible to receive a large sum of money through a supposed lottery win, government grant, charitable award or international business deal. Any such offers should be treated with suspicion.

For more scams like the one being discussed here; check out "Lottery Scams"

Holiday Season: Top Business Time for Cybercriminals - - Be Extra Cautious of Online Scams, Identity Theft And Cybercrime

The holiday season is a peak time for identity theft and internet fraud. Reportedly the number of online scams, incidents of identity theft and cybercrime has increased tremendously in this holiday season.  

 

US Postal Service officials say, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."  If you receive a check for a large sum of money for no apparent reason, if you are guaranteed financial success or promised unusually high returns for participation, reports say it is likely a fraud attempt. 

Another alert sign is high pressure or pressure to make a spontaneous decision.  Many online scams require an initial investment.  If you are dealing with a work-at-home job offer or an internet business, check it out with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). 

Don't allow internet fraudsters to catch you on the internet by taking a few extra measures.  Instead of clicking a link inside an email to visit a website, visit the website from your browser address line.  Also, remember your bank or credit card company will not call or email you for your account number. 

If you receive something suspicious online or in the mail, most services ask that you report it to their inspection department.  If you have encountered online fraud, contact the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Visa Winning Notification from U.S Embassy! From Mrs. Laura Thompson - - Advance Processing Fee Scam

Beware! Its a Cyber World: Visa Winning Notification

I received following Visa Winning notification from Mrs. Laura Thompson; while I never applied for Visa for US or any other country. The attachment with the mail clearly shows that the cybercriminals sent this mail to cheat for Advance processing fee od $1050 or $1580.

This is a scam like many others in the form of Lottery Winning Notifications.

================================================
From: United States (usdvc00@att.net)
Sent: Thu, December 16, 2010 7:07:18 PM
Subject: Winning Confirmation from U.S Embassy!


Dear,
 
We have send your visa winning notification attach.
Contact the asia/pacific agent assigned to handle your visa and documents processing.
 
Sincerely,
Mrs. Laura Thompson
 
Attachment attached with the above mentioned mail is:
==========================================================

Don't send any information or even don't respond to such mails. Share it with your friends and relatives for any good Reason.

Email Claiming The Images Show the Cheap Chinese Hair Bands Made From Used Condoms - - Reality and Analysis ..??

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

A widely circulated Email message, with images, warns that cheap rubber hair bands from China may have been made from used condoms.

In fact, the claims in the message were reported as genuine according to the news stories published in late 2007. Though, succeeding reports hint that the hair bands were more likely to be made from unused condoms that failed to meet factory specifications rather than used condoms.

Let's have a look to the mail and the images attached with it:
==================================================
Subject: FW: Chinese Hair Band - Condom

Grosssssssssssssssssssssssss

Just try to be careful when you are buying hair bands... who knows what it is made from.


These hair bands were made from used condoms and threads.



Used condoms are being recycled into hair bands in southern China, threatening to spread sexually-transmittable diseases they were originally meant to prevent, state media reported Tuesday.

In the latest example of potentially harmful Chinese-made products, rubber hair bands have been found in local markets and beauty salons in Dongguan and Guangzhou cities in southern Guangdong province, China Daily newspaper said.
===================================================  
Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

According to this warning message, consumers should be wary of buying cheap rubber hair bands from China because they may have been made from recycled used condoms and could potentially expose users to dangerous bacteria and viruses. The practice was reported as true in news stories published in late 2007:
In the latest example of potentially harmful Chinese-made products, rubber hair bands have been found in local markets and beauty salons in Dongguan and Guangzhou cities in southern Guangdong province, China Daily newspaper said.

"These cheap and colourful rubber bands and hair ties sell well ... threatening the health of local people," it said.

Despite being recycled, the hair bands could still contain bacteria and viruses, it said.

"People could be infected with AIDS, (genital) warts or other diseases if they hold the rubber bands or strings in their mouths while waving their hair into plaits or buns," the paper quoted a local dermatologist who gave only his surname, Dong, as saying.

A bag of ten of the recycled bands sells for just 25 fen (three cents), much cheaper than others on the market, accounting for their popularity, the paper said.
At the time, reports indicated that the used condoms were supposedly "recycled" before being made into hair bands but these reports did not specify exactly what this "recycling" process entailed. Experts who heard the reports warned that, if the hair bands were really made from used condoms, it was possible that the recycled rubber could still pose significant health risks to users.

However, subsequent news reports indicate that the hair bands were most probably made, not from used condoms but rather rejected - and therefore unused and comparatively clean and hygienic - condoms that failed to meet manufacturing standards. Soon after the initial reports were published in 2007, a Chinese reporter conducted further investigation into the claims and found that the rubber used in such hair bands was more likely to be recycled from condoms that had been discarded by manufacturers due to quality or production flaws that made them unfit for sale. The scenario of hair band makers simply collecting batches of rejected condoms direct from the manufacturers - probably at minimal cost - does seem much more logical and practical than the logistically difficult tactic of sourcing enough used condoms to make hair band manufacture a viable proposition.

That said, it cannot be completely ruled out that at least some cheap hair bands are actually made from used condoms, although it does seem quite unlikely. Certainly, China has gained an unenviable reputation for manufacturing and exporting dangerous or unhealthy goods in recent years, so consumers would do well to be wary of cheap hair bands and other products originating from that country.

Some later versions of the warning message tack on another circulating report that warns that cheap Chinese made rubber sandals (flip-flops) have been known to cause a severe skin reaction in some consumers.
 

Amazing Email Hoaxes - - Reality of Strange Sea Creature Found on Florida's Tampa Bay Beach

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

Widely spread email message with photographs; which are claimed to show a strange sea creature found on Florida's Tampa Bay Beach.

My readers my remember an article regarding Images Of Strange Mermaid Found On Beach of Malaysia. The recent images are also an artistic sculpture work of the same artist Juan Cabana. 

Let's have a look to the images and mail contents:
==========================================

Subject: FW: It was found on Tampa Bay beach - what the heck is it?

What to hey?????? How weird is this??????????????????

 


The email arrives with several other images of the same creature.

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

Photographs of this strange and fierce looking creature have been circulating via email and online since mid 2006. The images have generated a lot of discussion. In fact, our oceans do indeed contain some strange and wonderful species, therefore, many of us have assumed that the creature might be a deep-sea fish till now unknown to science.

In fact, the "creature" is a sculpture by Tampa Bay artist Juan Cabana. Mr Cabana has created an entire range of mermaids, sea monsters and aliens, some of which he offers for sale on eBay under the name "seamystery". This particular "Sea Monster" was the subject of an eBay auction in June 2006. The same photographs that are now circulating were included in the eBay description of the item.

Cabana does not specifically state that his creatures are sculptures in his eBay descriptions. Instead, he creates fictional cover stories to go with the sculptures that include such information as how and where the particular creature was supposedly washed ashore and subsequently discovered. In a Small WORLD PodCast interview, the artist claims that he gives the items a cover story to create excitement about the sale and add an element of fun. He says that he at first made clear in his auction listings that he had actually made the objects but that approach "seemed like it was boring". Adding a story, he says, generates a lot more excitement. He assumes that most potential buyers will understand that the stories are tongue in cheek. Within the context of their original eBay listings, this assumption is not unreasonable. However, when the pictures and stories "escape" into cyberspace and get passed around out of their original context, they are apt to deceive many recipients. It should be noted that the images are taken from the ebay listings and distributed via email without Mr Cabana's permission or knowledge.

Although his works may not be to every body's taste, Cabana really is a talented sculpture. His bizarre but very lifelike creations are quite outstanding. The artist uses a variety of materials including fish and animal skin, animal skulls, steel and plastic.

 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lottery Scams and Fake Winning Notifications from MASTERCARD® / MICROSOFT® INTERNATIONAL END OF YEAR MEGA JACKPOT and END OF THE YEAR EMAIL AWARD

Today I'll share two new bogus and fake Lottery Scams; that I received recently. In fact, the second one I received just today.

First from Mrs. Esther Vega Lopez purportedly from MASTERCARD® / MICROSOFT®
INTERNATIONAL END OF YEAR MEGA JACKPOT.


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

From: Myriam Esther Vega Lopez
Sent: Tue, December 14, 2010 7:21:07 AM
Subject: Reg. No. MCIMJ: 36925/0751.


MASTERCARD® / MICROSOFT®
INTERNATIONAL END OF YEAR MEGA JACKPOT.
Director: Mr. William Gate III.


Dear Cash Winner,

Your e-mail address was selected and confirmed by our co-sponsor Microsoft International, through their latest internet software. You are therefore been approved by MasterCard® International / Microsoft® Corporation UK the sum of £3.6 Million Pounds (Three Million, Six Hundred Thousand Pounds). These funds are in cash, credited to a valid cashier's cheque, with a winning Reg. No. MCIMJ: 36925/0751. Be informed that your prize has been insured and ready for pay out to you. You are to contact your assigned claims officer below with your required information's:

Name: Mr. Robert Wes.
E-mail:
claimsunit.robertwes@msn.com
Official Line: +4470457 37149
Claims Verification Department.

Do email the above Claims Administrator, at once with this Claims Requirements; 1. Full Name: 2. Address: 3. Nationality: 4. Age: 5. Occupation: Nature of Work: 6. Phone: Fax: 7. State of Origin: Country: 8. Sex: 9. Winning Email Address:

Yours sincerely,
Mrs. Esther Vega Lopez©
Head Of Customer Service.
Copyright © /2010 MasterCard® Inc. UK.
===========================================
And Second from Mrs. Sophie Van Buren subjected as END OF THE YEAR EMAIL AWARD

===========================================
From: END OF THE YEAR EMAIL AWARD
Sent: Wed, December 15, 2010 6:58:42 PM
Subject: END OF THE YEAR EMAIL AWARD



END OF THE YEAR EMAIL AWARD

We are happy to inform you that you have emerged a winner under the First Category of our Promotion program. Winners were picked by computerized system, drawn from over 47,000,000 companies and individuals e-mail addresses worldwide. This draws was officially announced this month. Your email ID has won a cheque sum of $800.000.00 (Eight Hundred Thousand Dollas) only, in the First category G1 of our computer ballot prize award program.

This compensational program was promoted and sponsored by Bill Gate of America. No ticket was sold in this prize award but winners were randomly selected
From the electronic online world wide web in all over the world. You are advice to claim You’re winning before end of this year. Find below your winning information’s: Reference Number: NPL/602/DX511/21KJ, Batch Number: MZ52/347/BJ9/31NL, Lucky Number: 3-5-9-22-32-43.Remember to always quote you is winning Reference Numbers in all your correspondence.

Please contact payment agent in Burkina Faso and direct him where to send the cheque to you through DHL or FEDEX.

Dr.Eric Sawadogo.
Tel: +226 78 16 16 49.
Email: eric.sawadogo10@yahoo.fr

Sincerely Yours,
Mrs. Sophie Van Buren
Dept Sec. 


Reality of Bomb Threat Message in Liverpool and Manchester Shopping Centres - - Analysis of Wildly Spreading Hoax Message

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary:

A warning message circulating wildly on the web/internet purportedly from an ambulance service staff member claims that there is a reliable bomb threat for tomorrow involving shopping centres in Liverpool and Manchester.

In fact, the claims in the message are totally baseless. Police have disregarded the bomb threat rumours as false. Forwarding, re-posting and sending on this message will realize nothing other than spreading needless fear and alarm in society and masses. 

Let's have a look to the message contents:
===================================================
Just been text this message from a friend, her sister wrks 4the ambulance service: Jst heard at wrk - credible bomb threat 4 lpool 1 + trafford centre 4 2moro. Hospitals/burns unit on high alert. So avoid + pls pass msg on.

 ====================================================
Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

This warning message has circulated via text message, email and social networking websites since around December 12. The message warns recipients that hospitals have been put on high alert because of a bomb threat made against shopping centres in Liverpool, and Manchester UK. According to the warning, which purportedly originated with an ambulance service staff member, a "credible bomb threat" has been received against the Liverpool One shopping centre in Liverpool as well as the Trafford Centre in Manchester. The message asks recipients to pass the information on as a means of alerting others to the supposed threat.

However, this bomb threat rumour is without substance and should not be taken seriously. Police have dismissed the claims in the message. A 13th December news release published on the Merseyside Police website notes:
Police advice about text threat rumours

Merseyside Police is aware that there are a number of text messages circulating about a possible threat against Liverpool One.
Merseyside Police can confirm that there is no intelligence to suggest any threat against Liverpool One at the current time.

The increased police presence in the city today is to facilitate the demonstration taking place in the city centre and reassure Christmas shoppers.
A 13 December article in the Liverpool Echo also debunks the rumours:
MERSEYSIDE police today moved to quash internet rumours of a Liverpool One bomb threat. Numerous members of the public contacted the police and the ECHO to report a so-called hospital alert, after rumours suggested a threat had been made against the shopping complex.

A statement issued by the force said: “Merseyside Police is aware that there are a number of text messages circulating about a possible threat against Liverpool One.

“Merseyside Police can confirm that there is no intelligence to suggest any threat against Liverpool One at the current time.”
As noted above, the rumour may have been fuelled by increased police presence in the city at the time the rumour began circulating. Extra police were on hand, not because of a bomb threat but because of possible problems related to a demonstration taking place in the city centre. The rumours were probably further fuelled because hospitals in the area were indeed put on alert at the time. However, this alert was because bad weather had caused a number of serious accidents and there was concern that some hospitals might therefore reach bed capacity.

There are also no credible reports whatsoever about any threat to Manchester's Trafford Centre. A spokesperson for The Trafford Centre posted the following answer to a user's enquiry about the supposed threat on the centre's Facebook page:
"[T]his "warning" is not true at all. We've spoken to the police, and they assure us that there is no specific or increased threat to The Trafford Centre - it's business as usual this Christmastime!
Please let all your friends know the truth - don't let these hoaxers ruin their Christmas shopping!
Unfortunately, like other such hoax warnings, the message does not list a specific date. It simply claims that the attack is set to take place "tomorrow". This vagueness ensures that the message is quite likely to continue pointlessly circulating for months or even years into the future. In such cases "tomorrow" never comes. Moreover, such false rumours often mutate as they travel when malicious pranksters alter details about where the attack is supposed to occur. In this way, such false rumours can spread around an entire country listing different targets and can even spread to other nations, sowing fear and confusion as they circulate.

Such false attack rumours have circulated several times in the past. In 2005, a widely circulated hoax message falsely claimed that London Metropolitan Police were preparing for another terrorist attack on the London underground. And, in June 2004, another hoax message caused fear and alarm in the United States when it falsely claimed that a terrorist attack was set to take place in a subway of an unnamed American city.

Thus, this supposed warning is invalid and should not be sent on to others. Re-posting the message will do nothing more than spread unnecessary fear and alarm in the community and waste the time of police and hospital staff who must answer a great many inquiries about the supposed threat from concerned members of the public. Text messages and the Internet can certainly be a rapid and powerful method of alerting members of a community to potential threats. However, it is important that recipients check the veracity of any warnings they receive before passing them on. Sending on false warnings is entirely counterproductive.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

OFFICIAL WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER PART-PAYMENT NOTICE - - Christmas Gift From Cyber Criminals in Form of Latest Compensation Scam

Beware! It's a Cyber World - - Compensation Scams:

Internet fraudsters 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 today, one of it is presented here, in which the scammers used again the name of United Nations. I've already presented few of such mails; back in November 2010 labeled as "Compensation Scam Reborn - - Using the Name of United Nations", one I shared with you back in August 2009 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.

====================================================
From: Mrs. Inga Britt-Ahlenius
Sent: Mon, December 13, 2010 7:50:23 AM
Subject: NOTIFICATION OF PAYMENT APPROVED..

RE:OFFICIAL WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER PART-PAYMENT NOTICE


Attention:Beneficiary,


My name is Ms.Inga-Britt Ahlenius,from the United Nations.It is a distinct pleasure to write you again. As you are well aware many foreigners have invested thousands of United States Dollars into Nigeria transactions in Hopeless Dreams to have none of them become a reality.Your file is one of the approved legitimate beneficiaries to receive part-payment of US$10.5Million.


Right now,as directed by our secretary general Mr.Ban Ki-Moon,We have agreed with the Nigeria Government that US$100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) would be paid to you through the Western Union Money Transfer Via special arrangement as first installment.This is to enable you have enough funds to pay for the Tax Clearance and bank charges before you will receive the balance of US$10.4M (Ten Million Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only).



Please take note that you will pay US$250 only being Notarization fee and this is the only financial obligation that you will undertake to receive the US$100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only)through the Western Union Money Transfer.


Based on the above subject matter,I would like you to urgently contact the transfer officer of Western Union Transfer in charges of this transaction immediately via the details confirming your information to him such as your full name, address and telephone number so that he can process the Western Union Money Transfer within the next 24 hours and release your fund.

Sincerely yours,

Mrs. Inga-Britt Ahlenius.
mrsingabrittahleniusunitednations@hotmail.co.uk
=======================================================
May be you have received such mail already, if not, may be you're in the next recipient list of internet Scammers. Your comments will add a positive touch to my motto "It's an attempt to save my readers from any kind of cyber victimization." Join hands in the noble cause to save the internet users from cyber victimization.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lottery Scam: YAHOO LOTTERY RESULTS 2010 - - Winning Notification From Mrs. Tina Akira and Dr. Raymond Hishashi

In continuation to kill the efforts of cybecriminals to cheat internet users through Lottery Scams and Winning Notifications; today I'm sharing here the latest email  purportedly from YAHOO INTERNET LOTTERY. A winning notification from Mrs. Tina Akira and Dr. Raymond Hishashi. All bullshit, nonsense and stupid effort to steal personal information and possible processing fee.


=====================================================
From: YAHOO LOTTERY AWARD (akiratinapresidentz@rediffmail.com)
Sent: Thu, December 9, 2010 2:20:16 PM
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS!!!


YAHOO  LOTTERY  RESULTS  2010
                                                         
              YAHOO INTERNET LOTTERY     

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Yahoo!! International Lottery Organization 
Bangkok Branch Office
Address: 3 Rajdamnern Avenue
Bangkok 10200 Thailand
  
 
Yahoo! Mail announces you as one of the 25 lucky winners in the ongoing 12 Years Yahoo 
lottery Award  of the New Year Held on 7th the January 2010.

 All 25 winning email addresses were randomly selected from a batch of 50,000,000 international
emails each from Canada, Australia, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceania 
as part of our international promotions program which is conducted annually, consequently, 
you have been approved for a total pay out of ONE MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS 
 (USD$1, 000000)

 This Lottery was promoted and sponsored by a conglomerate of some multinational 
companies as part of their social responsibility to the citizens in the communities where 
they have operational base.
 

Further more your details(e-mail address) falls within our Bangkok representative office 
in Bangkok Thailand, as indicated in your play coupon and your prize of (USD$1, 000000) 
will be released to you from this regional office in Bangkok Thailand.

Your fund is now deposited with our Bank/Security Company Bangkok Thailand and insured 
in your name. Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep this award from 
public notice until your claim has been processed, and your winning Payment have being sent to 
you or remitted to your account, as this is part of our security protocol, to avoid double claiming 
and unwarranted taking of advantage of this program by participants, as has happened in the past.
 


HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE
These are your identification numbers.
Ticket number.....................085-12876077-09
Serial number.......................51390-0
Lucky number...................03-05-12-14-28-38
Ref number...................N.EGS/3662367114/13

 To begin your lottery claims, Please contact our Yahoo Lottery Coordinator as follows,
 
Email: coordinatorkaneivas@yahoo.co.th
Name: Kane Iva
Tel: + (66)895096823
 
 You are to send the completed verification form below to the coordinator whose email 
address is given above so that you will be advised on what to do to get your prize money
Congratulations once more!!
 
1. FULL NAME
2. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
3. PRESENT ADDRESS.
4. DATE OF BIRTH
5. OCCUPATION
6. TELEPHONE NUMBER
6. FAX NUMBER
7. MARITAL STATUS
8. TICKET NUMBER, SERIAL NUMBER, LUCKY NUMBER AND REF NUMBER.

 Remember, all prize money must be claimed not later than 30th of December 2010. Any claim not 
made by this date will be returned to HER MAJESTY'S DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
And also be informed that 10% of your lottery winning belongs to (THE PROMOTIONS COMPANY). 
Because they are the company that bought your ticket and played the lottery in your name.

Note also that this 10% will be remitted after you have received your winnings prize, 
because the money is insured in your name already.

 NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote 
your reference and batch numbers in all correspondences with us, Furthermore, should there 
be any change of address, please do inform our Coordinator as soon as possible. 
Yahoo lottery is a free  service  that  does  not  require  you to be a Yahoo! Registered user.

 An original copy of your lucky winning ticket and your deposit certificate will be sent to you by 
Administrative Remittance Bank UOB Bank Bangkok Thailand.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Once again from all members of our staff and thank you for 
being a part of our International Promotions program.
 
We wish you continued good fortunes.


Yours  Sincerely,


Mrs. Tina Akira,
President
Yahoo! Lotto Org


Dr. Raymond Hisashi
Vice President
Yahoo! Lotto Org. 

 Yahoo! News - Lottery Yahoo!7   
Copyright © 1994-2010 The Yahoo Internet Promotion.
=========================================================== 

Don't believe it and no need to even respond it as the free cheese always take a rat to the trap only. Keep sharing and join hands to save other from cyber victimization.  
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