We’ve all seen phishing expeditions; however I have to admit that the following example has to be one of the cleverest I’ve seen so far, or a total fluke.
Traditionally you would expect a plea from a company explaining that your account or username has been compromised, and your urgent attention is required to correct the wrong. Good thing that the e-mail also has a link providing instant access to a swift password reset! As all of us are well aware, the link is bogus and redirects you to a Web site that captures your keystrokes.
So what’s different with this new example?
First off, it was not a request for urgent attention. Instead, the e-mail was just a notification of a purchase that involved a PayPal funds transfer. The mail outlined that I (the recipient) purchased a Dell computer that would be shipped to “Wayne E Bakewell” in “
Two hours later, another message followed. I receive an e-mail from eBay (not Dell) indicating that a purchase was made, and payment was due. The auction item matched the PayPal purchase message perfectly.
This is the first time I've had to go digging in my trash to find a PayPal spam message to confirm that the items were one and the same… Remarkably the two messages—that I bought a computer and it was going to Wayne!—were virtually identical. How odd, and synchronized.
As most of you read this, I’m sure you regard it as no different from the spam that clutters your inbox daily. But if you think about it from the perspective of a new user taught about the dangers of spam, I would think that this could be the tipping point between spam, and a real concern! I dug the messages out of the trash because I wanted to see the similarities. The nefarious nature of spam mail such as this puts in perspective the lengths, and means some will go to, to swindle an account, and maybe an identity.
Some details to the spam:
Interestingly enough the Cancel Transaction and Respond Now buttons go to two unique IP addresses 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52 respectively. Of course both were dead by the time I got around to playing with this scam, but I did discover they were registered to an Indonesian and Irish ISP respectively.
Looking around on the net, it turns out that similar messages were proliferated during the February timeframe but purchasing Altec Lancing Speakers instead of a Dell computer. Based on the details,
So bottom line, if it looks too good or bad to be true just delete the message or pick up the phone and call if you are concerned about the validity of a message.
Oh a few other points of interest:
- The purchase order does not exist with Dell!
- And Wayne E Bakewell does exist and is the butt end of a bad joke.
Following are the spam messages, see for yourselves!
Do you confirm this transaction?
If this transaction was not made by you please immediately take the following steps: