Posts Tagged ‘scams’

Warning: Steve Jobs new scam

October 9, 2011 6 comments

Nowadays it is a new scam circulating around the Internet, mostly on Facebook.

Do not click on any link that comes along with any message that claims to give away free iPhones, iPads in Steve Jobs memory. It is a scam!

Check this link out: “Free iPads in memory of Steve Jobs“, provided by Scameo a Facebook security blog.

The scam is most often distributed through Facebook. Usually, a friend in your contact list posts on his/her Wall that Apple is giving away for free 1000 iPhones, iPads as a commemoration for Steve Jobs. By pressing the provided link in the message the user will be taken to different websites where will be asked to take surveys and most notably could also get  malwares/viruses on his computer or being taken over his Facebook account. Note that you Facebook friend did not post the message by herself/himself, but the message was posted there through spam or a virus. Don’t blame you friend but simply ask him/her remove the post.


-do not press any of these links, remember: no one is giving anything for free ever! This scam is not new at all, it happens all the time when a famous person or celebrity passes away.

-ask your Facebook friends that have posted on their wall such an announcement to remove it from their Wall. Do not comment on their wall but send them a private message to ask them remove the post, and this helps to keep you protected against viruses or to simply losing your time in lengthy and unpaid surveys.

This scam method is called hoax. Check here another Artcile provided by Reuturs: “Online scammers seek to profit from the death of Steve Jobs”

Any questions can be submitted to:

Additional information can be found at:

Have you already received such as message? Do you know about Steve Jobs related scams that you would like to share with us?

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Warning: Domain name personal data retrieval!

October 4, 2011 3 comments

This post is a special edition as this type of data vulnerabilities and scamming risks are significant.

The blog shows how sensitive personal data can be retrieved without authorization, in one of the easiest ways I personally experienced:

-Anyone can type in their browser:

Next step: type in the search box a web address they know or find freely on the Internet such as:, then hit “enter”

Fig. 1

-After, from the bottom of the page, the link under “For complete domain details go to” can be easily copied and further use:

Fig. 2

-Once the link will be introduced in a web browser (copy and paste),  sensitive and complete personal data as shown bellow, will be made available:

Registration domain

Registrant’s  full name

Complete email address

Complete home address

Complete phone number

Registration date

Expiration date

Last update



Indeed there is a “no data use” warning posted on the page, but personally I have doubts that this will stop anyone from using this data, (outlined in the red circle).

What someone can do with this data? A scam! Any kind of scam, but mostly it is preferred the domain registration one.

How it works:

A letter will be send on the name and to the address available on WHOIS website claiming to pay the registration fees for your domain name. The expiration date is indicated (it is real) and it is available on the website for anyone.

The same letter will ask the registrant to pay the registration fees for another two years and provide the credit card number and  credit card expiration date details.

Fig. 4



What would they do with it? The scammer will clone your card and buy products online or from offline stores (such as electronics, computers, jewelries) having the purpose of selling them for cash.

A website address may be a public domain but the registrant’s name, home address, email address, phone number should not be public at all!

To me not the scam itself it is the most concerning but the easiness how sensitive personal data is available to ANYONE on the world wide web !!!

There are never ending discussions about how policies should be like, how new SNS’s features should be like, but do those policies and features help effectively protect many users from privacy intrusion, unauthorized access of personal data, fraud and scams? I am not sure, but what I am sure about is that AWARENESS, EDUCATION, KNOWING which are the risks, and how could be defeated, can protect users from being victims of identity theft, privacy intrusion, financial frauds, access of personal data.

When registering a domain name, one can chose to keep the registration details private, but unfortunately the account comes with this settings set public by default, instead to be set private by default. How many users know about these risks and how to protect against them? In order to get the registration private, some steps should be done which it is not known by many users/registrants.

This post aims to emphasis one more time how vulnerable our private data is on the Internet.

Any questions can be submitted to:

Additional information can be found at:

Did you know this scam? Did you know how to retrieve such info? What do you think about the easiness of this method?

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Rental scam

September 27, 2011 5 comments

From the same series that provides information and examples of Internet-related scams,  today E-Crime Expert is presenting another common type of scam: the Rental scam (when someone is looking to rent a place, usually in a different city/country that he/she lives).

How it works:

For example: someone copies a rental offer advertising and posts it on a website corresponded to a city where there is a high demand to rent (i.e. BrusselsParis, London, New York, Toronto, etc). The offer is posted on a specialized rental website, describing a property which exists in reality, with a real address and real pictures, and the price will be much below the market.

People start sending inquires to the fake “owner” and because they know this is a great opportunity to get a such place in a such location for such a bargain they will do anything to get it. So, the “owner” will agree to rent them the place, but before they will sign the contract (provided by regular mail) they have to pay a deposit (one or two months of rent) in order for the apartment to be reserved for them (because often times the people who are looking to rent are from other cities or countries).

Being a “great deal” they will agree to pay and will send money via Western Union or Money Gram or PayPal. Remember that potential renter could check maps online or even send a friend to confirm that the place exists in reality and it does, so they will trust the owner and send the money.

Of course the “owner” is not the real owner of that place but a scammer. He gets the money and no accommodation will be provided, because he does not own the place he might be located in a different city. So, please be careful. The fake “owner” can also get the real identification details, address, location, exact name of the owner, for example from Facebook  (Timeline, Profile or Ticker) or by using Spam, Phishing, unsecured Wi-Fi Internet connections and any other Identity theft-related scam.

If you have doubts regarding such a great offer, please consult this website or contact E-crime Expert and he can check if the property is legitimately rented out by the owner or if it is a scam.

To see a very explanatory video on how this scam works, watch the video below.

Credit: Dave Dugdale. “How to Unmask Rental Scammers” YouTube: drumat5280.

How could you prevent this scam?

  • always check if possible if there is a legitimate person or company by asking for a phone number or any identifiable information that could be further investigated.
  • check if the email address contains a company name, and if so, verify the authenticity of that company.
  • if the email address contains only a name you could check if that name/email address was involved before in a similar scam. Please check this website
  • if there are errors or contradictory information in the advertisement with the wording, directions, communications (once the scammer uses an email address, and another time a different one).
  • if the add contains spelling errors, grammar errors (many scammers use the most circulated languages which may not be their mother tongue).
  • never send money via Western Union or Money Gram. Better pay with a credit card because the payment can be cancelled.
  • better stay in a hotel/hostel for few days if moving to another city and look locally for a place to rent once arrived to your new destination. It is cheaper to spend few nights in a hotel rather than losing the money for two month rent.
  • before moving, look for a legitimated rental agency in your destination city, such as (Brussels): Home in Brussels. Immobe Apartments, Logic immo, etc.
  • if you are moving for work, ask your new employer/company, to help you in this matter. They will at least provide you with legitimated rental adds.
  • almost always what is to good to be true is valid: if the rental price is much lower than the market, there are higher chances for there to be a scam involved.
  • for more info, please watch this video here.

Any questions can be submitted to:

Additional information can be found at:

Did this scam ever happen to you? After this post, would you be able to protect yourself from this scam?

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