Category Archives: hoax

Free Xbox Points hoax

There have been messages appearing on Facebook saying that Microsoft is giving away 4000 Xbox points. It’s fake (a hoax). Firstly, they’re not really called “Xbox Points”, the correct term is “Microsoft Points”, so this is an obvious scam. Secondly, Microsoft has had to step in and make it clear that it’s a hoax (link here)

Below is a screenshot of the hoax,

points

As always, be wary of any free offers. And very ware of things you read on Facebook, a lot of it is false. Always copy and paste things into Google and do a search, you’ll quickly be able to tell if something is true or a hoax.

 

Helpdesk Scam

If you or your company has a helpdesk you should understand that they don’t need to know your password. Ever. So if you receive an email asking for your login and password you should immediately suspect that it could be a scam.

The following email is a scam. It’s made to look like a serious IT request but it’s really a trick to get your account details.

Help Desk

Attention Account User,

Scheduled Maintenance & Upgrade

Your account is in the process of being upgraded to a newest of Windows-based servers and an enhanced online email interface inline with internet infrastructure Maintenance. The new servers will provide better anti-spam and anti-virus functions, along with IMAP Support for mobile devices that Support IMAP to enhance your usage.

To ensure that your account is not intermittently disrupted but active during and after this upgrade, you are required to kindly confirm your account by stating the details below:

* User name:

* Password:

This will prompt the upgrade of your account.

Failure to acknowledge receipt of this notification, might result to a temporal deactivation of your account from our database.

Your account shall remain active upon your confirmation of your login details.

We do apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Help Desk

© Copyright 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Facebook Survey Scam

This scam uses Facebook to trick people into completing a survey. It starts with an interesting Facebook message like the ones below,

CLICK HERE to see the status udpate that got a girl expelled from school!!

or

OMG… This GIRL KILLED Herself After HER DAD Posted This ON Her WALL!

or

OMG! Look What this Kid did to his School after being Expelled! After this 11 year old child was expelled from his school he went beserk

Anyone curious enough to click on the link is taken to a page that “looks like” Facebook, but isn’t Facebook. Then two things happen:

  1. You’re asked to “Like” the page, which adds the scam to your own Facebook wall. This is how the scam spreads.
  2. You’re also asked to fill in a survey. This is how the scammer is making money. They’re being paid by a marketing company to fill in these surveys.

And that’s it. There’s no interesting video or article. It’s just a viral scam – it spreads because it sounds interesting.

So if you come across this, don’t click on the links, and let the person who posted it know about the scam.

Thanks to DBM for writing in and letting me know about it. I’m sure that by letting others know about scams we can all help reduce them.

Fake Adobe Acrobat Links

The email shown below is not from Adobe, it’s a fake. It has words that would get most people’s attention but the links in the email do not point to any real Adobe products. If you receive this email, delete it. Don’t click on the links.

The fake email looks like this:

Dear Customers,
Adobe is pleased to announce new version upgrades for Adobe Acrobat 2010.
http:// www.adobe-new-software.com
Advanced features include:
– Collaborate across borders
– Create rich, polished PDF files from any application that prints
– Ensure visual fidelity
– Encrypt and share PDF files more securely
– Use the standard for document archival and exchange
To upgrade and enhance your work productivity today, go to:
http://www.adobe-new-software.com
If you have any question please contact us at: support@adobe-new-software.com
Best regards,
Michael Lobenberg
Adobe Acrobat
Copy rights © Adobe Acrobat 2010 – All Rights Reserved
Website: http:// www.adobe-new-software.com

Dear Customers, Adobe is pleased to announce new version upgrades for Adobe Acrobat 2010.
http:// www.adobe-new-software.com Advanced features include:
– Collaborate across borders- Create rich, polished PDF files from any application that prints- Ensure visual fidelity- Encrypt and share PDF files more securely- Use the standard for document archival and exchange To upgrade and enhance your work productivity today, go to:
http://www.adobe-new-software.com  If you have any question please contact us at: support@adobe-new-software.com Best regards, Michael Lobenberg Adobe AcrobatCopy rights © Adobe Acrobat 2010 – All Rights Reserved Website: http:// www.adobe-new-software.com

Adobe does not send out emails like this. Acrobat Reader can update itself by showing a small window with update information (and you should update it as soon as updates are released). You should not have to visit a web site to download Acrobat updates.

Facebook Un Named App

Here’s a combined hoax and malware. Let’s start from the beginning.

People have been posting notes on Facebook about something called “un named app”. It tells you to remove something from Facebook. It’s a hoax. Don’t believe what it says, don’t follow the instructions, and don’t pass it on.

Below are some quotes of the hoax:

ALERT >>>>> Has your facebook been running slow lately? Go to “Settings” and select “application settings”, change the dropdown box to “added to profile”. If you see one in there called “un named app” delete it… It’s an internal spybot. Pass it on

this is real.. i checked and found this app and deleted it… hopefully, my facebook will run better now.

Cannot believe how much quicker mine is running after doing this….

I don’t have this app on my Facebook account but if you do, don’t worry. It’s a normal part of Facebook and you shouldn’t delete it.

Now the second part of this hoax is a real trojan. If you go to Google and search for “facebook unnamed app” you’ll see quite a few results. Some of these results are fake antivirus programs.

A fake antivirus program is actually a trojan. It pretends to scan your PC and quietly installs malware in the background. It goes under the name of Security Tool, it has a fancy detection screen and everything. But it’s definitely bad.

The rule of thumb is that if a web page tells you that your PC might be infected, don’t trust it. Go and get your own antivirus program, not something that pops up on your screen (see here for a good free antivirus program).

There’s a lot to learn here. Basically, be careful who you trust. These days scammers have to trick you into installing malware and they’re good at it (it’s called social engineering).

BlackBerry Hoax Message

fire The following message gets sent to BlackBerries. The idea is that people believe what’s written there and forward it to all their contacts. Then each one of those people repeats the same process.

It’s a hoax. No damage can be done by the message, whether you forward it or not. And of course it will annoy people if you do forward it. It’s also very unprofessional to forward things like this to work contacts.

The message reads:

Do not accept this contact : 21536 (mireya diaz) she’s a hacker!!!! She will format ur blackberry and all ur contacts also.

Att: if one of ur contacts accept her u will get hacked also!!! Send this to all ur contacts

And don’t take the mentality that you should forward it “just in case”, or that it’s “better to be safe than sorry”. This is the wrong attitude. Make a stand and accept that it’s a hoax, and let others know.

There’s also something called a “barcode photo” that people talk about on BlackBerry forums. I don’t use a BlackBerry so I don’t know what this is, but apparently you shouldn’t share this barcode with people you don’t trust. It lets strangers add your BlackBerry to their contacts and send you hoaxes etc. You should stay in control of your privacy and choose who to share details with.

PC Antispyware 2010

This product is a scam. It’s made to look like a real antivirus or antispyware program but all it does is ask you for money. It’s not a legitimate program, it doesn’t stop spyware, viruses or do anything useful.

It’s called PC Antispyware 2010, a name that sounds a bit serious (and misleading). The screen looks pretty fancy, maybe people trust things that look nice or shiny – don’t be fooled by it.

Antispyware 2010

If you see the screen above then don’t click on the download link, don’t install it. You can see a larger screenshot by clicking here. Only use antivirus products from known and trusted vendors.

Twitter Worm: StalkDaily

Some messages are being sent on Twitter right now that are part of a worm. If you receive one of the following Twitter messages ignore it and don’t click on the link.

  • I love www.stalkdaily.com
  • wow… www.stalkdaily.com
  • Join www.stalkdaily.com everyone!
  • Hey everyone, join www.stalkdaily.com. It’s a test site like Twitter but with pictures, videos, and so much more! 🙂
  • Woooo, www.stalkdaily.com 🙂
  • Virus? What? www.stalkdaily.com is legit!
  • Dude, www.stalkdaily.com is awesome. What’s the fuss?

If you click on the link some code runs in the background that sends the same messages but from your own Twitter account.

Is it harmful? No, it was a publicity stunt by a site called StalkDaily. This is what a worm is, something that spreads through the internet similar to a virus but without infecting files. It’s still not a good thing to have around.

In this case it’s harmless but it could have been harmful. By the time you click the damage could have been done.

Foxtel SMS

I just received this one. I haven’t worked out if it’s a scam or how it works, I’ll update this post when I find out (please post your comments here if you know anything). (Update: it’s legitimate)

The SMS was received in Australia and reads:

When you are home please call FOXTEL on 1800882016 (12pm to 8pm) so we can help you check whether your dish requires a component upgrade (no charge).

I don’t have a Foxtel dish and never requested any kind of service or upgrade. My guess is that if I call that number I’ll be charged at a premium rate, or someone will ask me for my credit card number.

Update 1: Someone pointed out that I should be able to call the 1800 number from a pay phone for free. So I’ll do that tomorrow, I have nothing to lose.

Update 2: Pay phones are rare these days. After finding one I called the free number, it’s an electronics engineering company that services Foxtel dishes. Seems like it’s a legitimate SMS, just sent to the wrong person (me). I also received a second SMS exactly the same.

So there we go, it’s not a scam.