Spammers blog postings

Spammers Postings

Earliest: February 20, 2004Latest: November 3, 2019Total: 24
November 3, 2019

Total Access Network

The latest scam that's going around is getting a text message that you "won" a new iPhone 11. The link takes you to a page where you fill in a brief survey and then you enter in a credit card information to claim your prize.

infinite Surveys
Screenshots of the Scam in Play.

Just a Marketing Scam

The whole thing is just a marketing scam to trick you into signing up to Total Access Network, which is also Savers and Coupons. You can goto the Savers and Coupons Website to get all the details of the "offering."

Legal Disclaimer for Total Access Network, I highlighted the part they hope people don't read:

AMAZING NEWS! You are a winner of the Total Access Network iPhone 11 Pro Sweepstakes Entry AND a vacation package. Keep an eye on your email as we will be sending full details of the prize and instructions on how to claim the Total Access Network Special Offer. You have qualified to have access to our Total Access Network which includes, Movie, Restaurant and Shopping Coupons plus 6 magazine subscriptions. You can change your magazine selections at any time. So, you will receive your favorite, high quality magazines for up to 12 months of service while maintaining the unique flexibility to switch and change your magazine selections without increasing your price. Total Access Network will automatically charge the credit card you provided today $19.73 per week (billed today then every 45 days for the following 6 weeks service) unless you choose to cancel at any time. You can cancel either or both portions of your membership and stop future billings at any time by calling toll free +1 (844) 340-3897 or contacting our 24/7 Service Center by email at support@totalaccess.network before the start of each new billing period and receive a refund within 30 days of any charge. Please refer to the full Terms & Conditions for details of your membership agreement. By clicking the Next button you agree to the billing terms above as well as our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and authorization for Total Access Network to charge your credit card the recurring payments described above.

Might Be Good... but Remember...

This all started because I won an iPhone 11.

Which is wrong because in fact I won an Total Access Network iPhone 11 Pro Sweepstakes Entry. I have to pay to get a chance to win the iPhone.

Only for the iPhone

This whole promotion fails if I try to open the link on my computer. The site only loads if I click on it using a mobile device.

Clearly a scam.

October 13, 2019

Twitter Winning Scam

There?s a new scam going on Twitter that?s being done by a group called the ?Pioneer Capital Group.? There is someone claiming that you are a winner of a huge amount.

This is the instant message that got from a user called Linda Powell Overton (@anitaja33645035) {Account has been deleted by Twitter}:

Attention Beloved in christ,

Now you are now the next winner of the huge amount of 16.2 Million Dollars, I am legit and this transaction has been 100 percent clarify so i got 10 of your contact information through the public records while searching for a last name similar to our late client a business magnate who lived in Florida, USA for Ninteen years he died along with his family during the Hurricane Dorian. Do not be amazed by this letter. Psalm 128. Happy are those who obey the lord, who live by it commandment, John 14:1. Let not your heart be troubled you believe in God

Thanks
Linda
Pioneer Capital Group.

The Boat Transportation

In my conversation with Linda Powell Overton, she mentioned that the money is being shipped by boat. She included a picture of the boat in my Twitter Chat:

The Boat Scam

Fact: This is American Glory - the website has the exact picture. American Cruise Lines' 49-passenger cruise ship American Glory at sea. The ship sails the rivers of Florida in winter and New England in summer.

The boat never ports in Michigan and It doesn't transport goods.

This was a scam.

Next Steps

I gave them a throw-a-way email account to continue the communications. Within a few minutes this appeared:

Pioneer Capital Group
Screenshot of the Email from the "Pioneer Capital Group."

Clearly there's a lot of problems with this email. One of which, the email came from capitalfinancecompany8@gmail.com and not from pioneercapgroup.com.

I Must Pay for Shipping

After many back and forth conversations, the "Lawyer" (Barrister Frank) let me know that I had to pay them $100 in an Amazon Gift Card to receive the goods. ( That's $50 to get a Pin Code so that I can open the container and $50 the delivery charges.)

Factoid:

The amount of $ 16,200,000 in 100 dollar bills would have a total weight of 162.00 kg (357.15 pounds) - not including the weight of the container. Pioneer Capital Group manage to find a distributor to ship 357+ pounds of cargo for $50. That's a heck of negotiation in shipping cost!

Five Signs that this was a Scam

  1. Contacted by Twitter as the first notification. I won $16.2 million dollars and the first means of communicating the news is via IM in Twitter. I would expect a phone call maybe a visit with a camera crew. Seriously people really fall for this?
  2. Email address is Gmail and not from the company. Why couldn't this come from the Pioneer Capital Group domain? Oh Right because it has nothing to do with them.
  3. Sending money in a box on a boat. Yup. In 2019, we will still use a boat to ship the money. Forget about using electronic means - shipping by boat is the cool way to get the money.
  4. Won a prize but no taxes? In all the communications with the people, nobody talked about the tax impact of the money. Which isn?t surprising since I wasn?t ever going to get any money.
  5. Misspellings and Grammar. This was the big give away that this wasn?t the real deal. All communications with the scammers had spelling and grammar mistakes. The ?Lawyer? said it was autocorrected that was causing the issue. Seriously? This is a multimillion-dollar transaction and you can?t manage your autocorrect on your phone?

Here's The Deal

This is what the scammers were trying to sell me:

  • I won 16.2 Million Dollars
  • Something about having the same last name as ?our late client - a business magnate who lived in Florida, USA for Nineteen years. He died along with his family during the Hurricane Dorian.?
  • All the money is in a box on a boat
  • The boat is in Michigan and will take 2-days to get to you by sea.
  • In order to get the money, I need to pay $50 to get the pin code from the Supreme Court
  • You will need to pay $50 for the delivery of a box of cash.
  • The fund is comes with a clearance certificate so I won?t pay any taxes

What's Next

If you get any type of communication that request money for a "winning" you should report the account to Twitter. Remember, that anyone ask to pay for transactions using an Amazon Gift Card is lying to you - Checkout Amazon Phishing page.

October 21, 2018

Bitcoin Extortion Scam

Recently, I got this strange email to several unmonitored email address:

My nickname in darknet is ezechiel30. I'll begin by saying that I hacked this mailbox (please look on 'from' in your header) more than six months ago, through it I infected your operating system with a virus (trojan) created by me and have been monitoring you for a long time.

Even if you changed the password after that - it does not matter, my virus intercepted all the caching data on your computer and automatically saved access for me.

I have access to all your accounts, social networks, email, browsing history. Accordingly, I have the data of all your contacts, files from your computer, photos and videos.

I was most struck by the intimate content sites that you occasionally visit. You have a very wild imagination, I tell you!

During your pastime and entertainment there, I took screenshot through the camera of your device, synchronizing with what you are watching. Oh my god! You are so funny and excited!

I think that you do not want all your contacts to get these files, right? If you are of the same opinion, then I think that $500 is quite a fair price to destroy the dirt I created.

Send the above amount on my bitcoin wallet: 1MN7A7QqQaAVoxV4zdjdrnEHXmjhzcQ4Bq As soon as the above amount is received, I guarantee that the data will be deleted, I do not need it.

Otherwise, these files and history of visiting sites will get all your contacts from your device. Also, I'll send to everyone your contact access to your email and access logs, I have carefully saved it!

Since reading this letter you have 48 hours! After your reading this message, I'll receive an automatic notification that you have seen the letter.

I hope I taught you a good lesson. Do not be so nonchalant, please visit only to proven resources, and don't enter your passwords anywhere! Good luck!

Several Notes About this Email

I got many copies of this email and the name of the person has been different, ewen76, ezechiel30 and ashby06 are just some of the names.

The email is very vague to what content they have.

They want me to send $500 to a bitcoin account, but not identify where the amount came from. So how would they know my email address so that the "data will be deleted?"

There's no way for them to track when the email was read since there's no tracking pixel in the email.

The email addresses that the email were sent to were setup for spam bait for "facebook surveys." I think that they are related to these survey scams where you have a chance to win a $1,000 Walmart Gift Card.

April 8, 2018

Palmco Energy

Palmco Power keeps calling me via (888) 269-7397 and (978) 523-1013. They are trying to get me to switch the energy supplier to Palmco.

Their high-pressure sales tactics haven't convinced me to switch. I never give them any account information.

For a while I thought it was Tomco that was calling, a London based energy provider. A caller did clarify the correct name.

Voters Wanted this Change

In 2005, Massachusetts voters approved deregulation of energy sources. Consumers now have the choice to where their electricity company should get the energy for their home.

Read up on the Massachusetts Energy Deregulation.

All Fun and Games until you do the Math

They claim to have the lowest price, but data from Eversource says they are one of the most expensive energy providers.

As of today, NStar/Eversource default cost is $12.888 (cents/kWh). So if you do nothing that is how much it will cost you. It's a good base number to understand.

Palmco says it can provide cheaper energy - it does for about a month. When you go to their site, you see a nice promotion for 10.100 (cents/kW)

However if you go to page two, the story changes a bit. That 10.100 (cents/kW) was a teaser rate. The second month it jumps to 13.9 (cents/kWh). Now you're paying more for energy than the standard rate.

Palmco Energy

While there's no cancellation fee, they are probably hoping that most new customers will forget about the switch.

Now you ended up paying more for no reason. So why would you switch?

One More Thing

On the call, you might be asked to give your Electric Provider account information - don't do it. They may use the information to switch your account over the phone.

Think it won't happen? MCI did this is the 1980s. A market firm, acting on MIC behalf, changed the long distance provider of thousands of customers without them knowing. (Read up on that story.)

Cold Calling

Next time PalmCo calls you, tell them:

Thanks for letting me know about the deregulation. I'll do some research and if you're the best option, I'll certainly switch. (Click)

Oh if they call back - and they will...

We did our research and made our choice. (Click)

If you still get callbacks...

Is this xxx? (Any Company that bothering you - might be a different energy provider.)

Well.... my neighbor switched last month and since the switch, they had nothing but horror stories about the whole process. So no thank you! (Click)

February 4, 2018

Fake IRS are Still Calling

This week I got a call from the Fake IRS. Seems that they are back in business again. Thakkar -- also known as "Shaggy" was arrested last April. Apparently, there are enough people who know about the scam technology to continue the scam.

Learn more about Sagar Thakkar and the Mira Road Call Centre Scam.

They called me at (240) 428-4213

Don't Fall for their Scam

  • I asked the caller could they give me specifically what was wrong on my tax form that caused the "miscalculation." She was not able to do that - all the responses were vague.
  • When I got transferred so that I can make the payment and not get jailed, I asked the Senior Officer what time was it in Washington DC. I could hear some typing - a Google search perhaps?
  • When I mentioned I could hear computer typing - that is when the call went downhill. They asked if I thought it wasn't real and I told them that clearly, it wasn't.

IRS Information

The Internal Revenue Service has a site where you can Report Phishing.

Remember: Call 1-800-366-4484 to determine if the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate need to contact you.

January 14, 2018

Asterisk Open Source PBX

Looks like "Scam or Fraud" companies are using Asterisk Open Source PBX:

Asterick Open
www.asterisk.org

Congratulations. You have successfully installed and executed the Asterisk open source PBX. You have also installed a set of sample sounds and configuration files that should help you to get started. Like a normal PBX, you will navigate this demonstration by dialing digits. If you are using a console channel driver instead of a real phone you can use the dial, answer, and hang up commands to simulate the actions of a standard telephone.

I call this Phone Number: (225) 217-3374, which is labeled as a 'Scam or Fraud' by Hiya.

Heard this line when I called them: "Please enter one or more keywords separated by * and then press the pound key." A quick internet search found this Asterisk Open Source PBX transcript - which matches exactly what I heard.

There's no indication specifically what (225) 217-3374 is selling. I think it's safe to say that it certainly can't be a legitimate business if they didn't set up the PBX number correctly.

October 22, 2017

Spammers Calling as IRS Agents

You may get a call from someone pretending to be the IRS. Consider yourself lucky and play along.

But first...

Questions to ask IRS agent on an unsolicited call. These should give you an idea if the "IRS agent" has real knowledge on who you are. If they say they are from the IRS these should be easy for them.

  • When did I file my taxes this year?
  • What State did I file my tax form?
  • Did I use Standard or Itemized deductions?
  • How many dependents were listed on the form?
  • Did I owe money or received a refund this year?
  • Did I file Electonic or via US Mail?
  • What state did I file my tax form?
  • Which tax forms did I file?
  • Did I contribute to the Presidential Election fund?
  • Since H & R Block (or your accountant ) filled out the tax form, have you notified them? Shouldn't they be the ones you need to arrest since they filled out the form and signed it?

If they push off because they don't have the proper document or access to your account:

Seven Bonus Questions

  • When was the review done? Is this considered an official Tax Audit? Why aren't the IRS audit proceedure being followed?
  • Your in Washington DC - What time is it there?
  • What Federal Exams did you have to pass?
  • Section 2 of the IRS code was abruptly changed last year do you know what areas got changed?
  • Who's signature is on the $1 bill?
  • Who the person in charge?
  • Why should I pay any amount when I don't know what the error is? How can I prevent this error in the future.

Point Counterpoint

Just a friendly reminder

IRS will not accept payments from a "Government approved store." So if Target, Walmart and CVS come up in the conversation - its a scam.

If you have to stay on the line so they can tell you what to do - its a scam.

If you feel pressured in any way because of a threat of an arrest for something that you're just hearing for the first time - its a scam.

If they are not able to answer any of the above questions correctly - its a scam.

Time to Say Good Bye

When you had enough time role playing.

"Thanks for letting me know about the situation. I will stop by the IRS office on my way to work tomorrow and take care of this."

"I am at the airport heading to Atlanta and don't have access to a car. Can I call back later?"

"I can't get to a Walmart because I am in the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. Beautiful day. I'll have to take care of this when I get home. Guess I don't have to worry about the police coming to arrest me."

October 1, 2017

G-Shock Car Shock Promotion Update

My encounter with the Casio Promotion scammer came to an abrupt end on Wednesday. No shots were fired, no prisoners taken.

Chat Log

I put up the entire chat log as well as the email conversations on a special page (It?s worthy of a separate page). I hope that people find it entertaining and educational on how a scammer was persistent on getting me to send the money.

My favorite exchange came on Tuesday afternoon. When I was ?discouraged? that they didn?t tell me that it costs money to send money via Western Union:

Scamer Chat

How it all ended

On Wednesday morning, xx hours after this whole ordeal started, I was out of excuses and decided to end it with a simple email:

From: blog@cryan.com
Date: Wed, September 27, 2017 12:37 pm
To: "Sierra Shelley"

Thank you for letting us know about this opportunity. We are going to pass on this.

Was it Going to be the End?

I was certain that I would get a reply requesting to send back the full amount. As that would be a natural response if this was a legitimate opportunity.

No additional communication was made.

I wonder if they moved on or if the communication line was cut off because the scam was running too long and they were about to get caught.

Guess I'll just hang up the check on the virtual wall and thank them for six days of entertainment.

The Check Frame

Casio Confirmation

Before sending them an email, I did reach out to Casio and asked them if they were running a car promotion. You never know. They replied with the following:

Thank you for contacting Casio I'm sorry for the inconvenience but yes this is a scam. Casio is aware and currently investigating. A notice is being drafted and will be posted on Casio.com and G-Shock.com shortly. We recommend that you do not click on any links and delete any messages associated with this offer. Thank you for contacting Casio and should you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us again.

Five Lessons Learned

If you're unsure about an offer that seemed too good to be true, as the company that is "sponsoring" the promotion. A simple email or phone call can help alert the company that someone is abusing their brand.

If anyone sends you a check and ask you to cash it and they perform some action - which involves you moving money, it's a scam.

Scammers will use scare tactics to get you to send them the money.

They will make it seem as legit as possible - except be very short in email replies. In communications, they will always be focus on the financial aspect and not the actual activity.

Western Union has an alert on top of their send money form. It's good advice. Hopefully, service workers at the store will ask follow up questions to put a sense of the reality of your transaction.

July 23, 2017

Government Grant Scam

The Scammer

Recently I have been calls about how I won a $9,000 grant. However, in order to collect the grant I have to pay $250 in Steam Card. Yes, this is a scam. Seriously who would collect a payment using Steam Cards?

The scam works by keeping you on the phone while you go to the store to get the gift card. They don't want to risk you talking to anyone else that might inform you that it's a scam. They will insist on staying on the phone and then "order you" to get the card.

The Federal Government will never ask you to pay for any processing fee to get a loan. In addition, they will not require a payment method by a gift card.

$9,000 Government Grant Scam

You can read about the scam New America Media website and on Scam Detector.

In my last call, I told them that it would be a while before I could get to the store. These are the phone numbers that have been calling me back to see if I have gotten the cards:

  • (202) 470-0947
  • (202) 350-0969
  • (202) 643-6782

Don't be fooled, just because these are Washington DC numbers, doesn't mean that they are actually calling from Washington DC. Once when I called the number, I heard "Google Voice" isn't able to transfer the phone number.

December 24, 2016

(716) 210-9393

If you get a call from (716) 210-9393 it's American Home Security. An automated machine greets you. Apparently, a human doesn't have to deal with the all the hang ups.

Automation Bleep Sound

You can tell that it's going to be some type of automation system because as soon as you say, "Hello" you'll hear a bleep sound.

Yes, the bleep tells you that an automated system dialed your number. You are the winner of the lucky phone number lottery.

(716) 210-9393

The number is located in Pendleton, NY, and there is no American Home Security office in Pendleton, NY. This is clearly a scam or phone bait type of call.

The system tries to pick a "local" number with the hope you would answer it. I believe a lot of these "local" numbers were old AOL modem dial-in access points.

Time to Play!

I like to mess with their "Automation" process a bit. As soon as I hear the bleep sound I know that it's a scam waiting to happen.

Here's a brief transcript of a past call.

Caller: "This is American Home Security, how are you doing?"
Me: "Terrible"
Caller: [Click]

If you get them to hang up, the system may reject your number from future calls. Then again, maybe they will keep trying until they win.

Other Situations

Caller: "Are you the Homeowner?"
Me: Sometimes
Caller: "Do you own your home?"
Me: "We are borrowing it"

I try to use words that they don't expect. I do this to see if I can confuse the automation system.

Every once in a while it might be hard to determine if the caller is a human or a machine, I have a script for that.

Caller: "Are you the Homeowner?"
Me: "Wow, there was a big storm going by your area, did you loose power"
Caller: "I am sorry, Are you the Homeowner?"