|Elliott Sound Products||Spam, Scams & Security|
|Main Index||ESP Main Index|
|Spam||There's a lot more to this vile abuse than first meets the eye||Apr 2003|
|Scams||Some of these are mind-numbingly dumb, but people still get caught out||Sep 2019|
|Security||Is yours at risk? Some things for you to consider (and one you would never have guessed!)||Sep 2003|
|Scam Watch||Australian Government 'Scamwatch' Website|
Very little has changed since I first started describing the scams that abound. The techniques have changed in some cases, but others are virtually identical to those described, some of which have been around for close to 20 years! Telephone scams have changed, with the scammers now 'spoofing' phone numbers so it appears that they are calling from a legitimate phone number. The increased use of internet telephony (VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol) is now common all over the world, and that makes it all too easy for the scammers to hide where they're calling from. It also means that the calls cost very little (if anything at all), so keeping the scammers on the phone doesn't cost them money (it does cost them time though!. It also costs you time of course, so the best way is to disconnect as soon as they announce where they are supposedly from.
This section of the ESP website is intended to let people know about 'new and exciting' spam and scam emails, and the many and varied ways that these frauds use to try to infect your computer or steal your identity and/or credit card details. This is only one of many such pages, and I can only report on things I've encountered. The Australian Government's 'Scamwatch' website (linked above) is always worth looking at, as it can alert you to anything new that pops up - hopefully before you get scammed or phished.
There are many websites that cover nothing else, and these pages contain only a small subsection of all the scammers and spammers that unfortunately abound on the Net. Nevertheless, I hope that I can help save a few people from the embarrassment and inconvenience of falling for a well crafted attempt to gain information that can cause considerable distress when stolen.
Always remember that any offer that seems too good to be true, almost certainly is too good to be true, and is therefore decidedly untrue. It can be hard to tell sometimes, but if there is the slightest doubt that the offer is genuine, then avoid it until you've done some research.
Microsoft will never pay you to forward emails, reputable suppliers don't have websites that claim to be encrypted but don't use the secure http protocol (https). Banks never ask for your PIN and government departments (such as the tax office) never send unsolicited emails without your name but offer to send you money. Always check the website address carefully - it shows in your browser's address panel, and it's well worth your while to make sure that you know where the site is hosted if it's something new.
Your bank will never ask you for your account number and PIN in an email and government departments, banks and credit card issuers will use your full name in any correspondence - they never send emails without this. Nor do they ask you to provide highly detailed and very personal information in generic emails. Double check the reply to address in any email that asks for information, and if there's the smallest doubt, phone the government department, bank or company concerned to verify that the email is real.