Scam Warnings & News

Warnings, resources, news links, and discussion.

Thumbtack Scam

I replied to a request for proposal on Thumbtack.Com and got this response:

Thank you. I have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business. The company is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible .… the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site. Note: 1. I want only 12 numbers of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs. 2. I want only English language 3. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as 4. you will be updating the site for me. 5. i will be proving the images, logos and content for the site. 6. i want the site up and running before ending of next month. 7. My Budget is $2000 to $4000 Kindly get back to me with: (1) an estimate (2) And will like to know if you are the owner ??

I went to report it but it was already redacted (or deleted). Why was I going to report it, you say? BEcause I’ve sen it before and have been down that path.

These scammers follow the following pattern (for now):

  1. They want you to check out the site and have a domain in mind (that may or may not be taken);
  2. They repeat their budget, $2K-$4K, which is a bit high for such a project;
  3. They want an estimate (after you already gave them one);
  4.  They want to know if you are the owner.

This last one is important, because they want to be sure you can make the decisions necessary to be scammed by them. Once you’ve committed to giving them a proposal (twice), they will insist on paying you $4,000 even if you quoted less. Here’s the catch:

Their “graphic artist” needs to be paid RIGHT AWAY and doesn’t take PayPal and they can’t pay them any other way for some reason. They need YOU to pay them out of the money they give you — a check that clearly won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.

This is not unlike the “you’ve won the lottery” or “you will get paid out of the money we need you to traffic for a Nigerian prince”, where the catch is paying out money before you get paid … and then that never happens.

Well, there it is. If you pay credits on Thumbtack to quote anyone with this MO, report it and request a refund for those credits if the gig isn’t already cancelled.

Scam or Solicitation? You Decide.

Like Registry of America and Liberty Names, or perhaps more like RegistryDom or Domain Support Group, another local company, “Website Listing Service“, is sending out bill-like solicitations. They are less misleading than others, IMO, but I can only wonder how many people pay these fees not knowing what they are or if they need them.

In fact, I wonder if it can even be verified they do any work for what they get paid to do.

Image1 2013-06-18 160828

New Scam – DNS Services in Vancouver, WA

Just got this from a doctor client of mine, who could not find the part about not being a bill among all the content and layout indicating it was a bill.

New Download Threat (spoofed)

I got this today and thought it might be from someone regarding my anniversary. It turned out to be an executable file … NOT from Hallmark. I didn’t open it, but almost did. The tip-off? The link went to … most liekly some kind of malware (virus, spyware, etc..):

You have recieved A Hallmark E-Card. Hello!

You have recieved a Hallmark E-Card.

To see it, click here,

There’s something special about that E-Card feeling. We invite you to make a friend’s day and send one.

Hope to see you soon,
Your friends at Hallmark

Your privacy is our priority. Click the “Privacy and Security” link at the bottom of this E-mail to view our policy. [COLOR=#666666] | Privacy & Security | Customer Service | Store Locator [/COLOR]

{Holy Cr@p! This was posted on countless forums}

Fresh dumps with pin codes selling service.

Hello, I am here to offer you the service of selling dumps with pin codes. All dumps are skimmed and can be checked before the selling if you want me to do it. I can offer you dumps from USA and some countries of Europe. The base of the dumps is fresh and renews consantly.
Any bad or dead stuff will be changed right after you contact me and I check it myself.

The prices are:
less than 5 dumps with pin code costs 300$ for each
from 5 to 20 dumps with pin code costs 200$ for each
more than 20 needs to be discussed personally

If you are interested go on and feel free to contact me by ICQ {number removed}.
I accept payments by E-gold.
Looking forward talking to serious people and making business with you.

College / University Diploma Scams

After receiving this email and finding the institution did not even exist, I decided to start a thread about them, starting with this email as the example. It was a sad attempt by someone who was not American (linguistic cues such as area code separate).

Good Day,
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Corrine Childers to the position of University Director.
Corrine will be responsible for overseeing online degree applications and qualifications. As director Corrine will personally contact you regarding our newly offered “Work & Life Experience” university degrees.
We are pleased with our changes to our online university, and want you to become a part of a growing community.
You are receiving this email because our staff feels you qualify for this 2 week degree.
We encouraged you to contact our enrollment department today:
Area Code: 206 Phone: 984-1705

Have a great day
Billy Garcia
Board of Directors

Not too smart …

Security Center

Military Grade Encryption is Only the Start

At PayPal, we want to increase your security and comfort level with every transaction. From our Buyer and Seller Protection Policies to our Verification and Reputation systems, we’ll help to keep you safe.

We have recently noticed one or more attempts to log into your PayPal account from a foreign IP address and we have reasons to believe that your account may have been hijacked by a third party without your authorization.

If you recently accessed your account while traveling, the unusual login in attempts may have been initiated by you. However, if you are the rightful holder of the account, click on the link below to log into your account within the above-mentioned period. run

If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choice but to temporarily suspend your account.

We ask that you allow at least 72 hours for the case to be investigated and we strongly recommend to verify your account in that time.

If you received this notice and you are not the authorized account holder, please be aware that it is in violation of PayPal policy to represent oneself as another PayPal user. Such action may also be in violation of local, national, and/or international law. PayPal is committed to assist law enforcement with any inquires related to attempts to misappropriate personal information with the intent to commit fraud or theft. Information will be provided at the request of law enforcement agencies to ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Thanks for your patience and understanding as we work together to protect your account.

PayPal Account Review Department
PayPal, an eBay Company

*Please do not respond to this e-mail as your reply will not be received.

I followed the link and went up a few directories … and got the guy’s family album …

PayPal Advice

June 2005Dear Ken Stuczysnki,

10 Ways to Spot Spoof Protect yourself from fraudulent emails and fake websites. This type of fraud is commonly referred to as “spoof” or “phishing.” Take a few minutes to visit PayPal, and:

• Find out 10 ways to spot spoof • See what a spoof email may look like • Learn how you can fight spoofers

Examples of these phishing scams can be found on these forums HERE.

Internet Lotteries

Yes, they are ALL fake. Every single one. I dare anyone to find an exception.

But just for laughs, here are a few, starting with the “Mother Theresa Lottery” with the message subject …


C Don Jaime I nº11 2º
50.003 Madrid

Your Ref: MTHL 322 /OCT. /04 Date: 12-10-04
Our Ref:
Dear Sir/Madam,
We are pleased to inform you of the result of our computer random selection for the Mother Theresa International Game held in October, 2004.Your email address attached to ticket number TGD/67-BO11748322 drew the lucky star number which consequently won the draw in the second category.
You have been approved for the star prize of Seven Hundred Thousand Euros (700,000.00 Euros).
You are advised to keep this winning very confidential until you receive your lump prize in your account. This is a protective measure to avoid double claiming by people that you may tell.
Now convert your lottery winning notification into money here in Mother Theresa International Game: Just send your winning ticket number and your personal data to public relation officer Mr. AMANDO JULIO. this email address. [][/email] for the processing of your claim. All prizes must be claimed within three months

NOTE: If you are under the age of 18, you are automatically disqualified for this star prize..

Yours faithfully,
Mr. Armas Gonzalez.

N.B: Any breach of confidentiality on the part of the winner will
result to disqualification. Please do not reply to this mail box.
Contact your claims agent immediately.

This email is send by “Demo Software”

Chat Scam!

This is the tail end of the chat that a “woman” who wanted to marry me after 5 minutes. All I had to do is send her a measly $200 for a new passport that she misplaced while on Holiday in ……WEST AFRICA..She claims she is an accountant for an international finance company her parents own…but she cannot afford to have her passport replaced…

This is after I blew her scam and inadvertantly closed the chat window before I saved it

mariagurl002 : so u think a good girl like me want to fruad u
mariagurl002 : i ahve my own job
kenc1959: I do not think you are a girl, I do not think you live in UK, you do not use ANY UK language
mariagurl002 : so i have no business with another person
mariagurl002 : what language do they use in uk
kenc1959: No LADY from a good family, with any social class, would ever ask a complete stranger for money
kenc1959: the first time they even talk to them
mariagurl002 : i did not ask u money <_<
kenc1959: you asked me to wesern union money for a passport
mariagurl002 : just that good if u told me that u can not afford the money it is a thing that my parent will give me
kenc1959: I have spoken with “women” from Russia, Poland, Chek Republic here all with the exact same thing, they need money for a passport
mariagurl002 : so just bcos our conversation that is why the passport matter came out
mariagurl002 : that is there own
mariagurl002 : those ones they want just eat your money
kenc1959: the only way I would believe you is if you came to Buffalo NY on your own accord and emailed me the flight # and seat # and I will pick you up and apologize to you
mariagurl002 : but me if you send me the money for passport i can even get usa visa and come and spen the remaining vacation with u
mariagurl002 : not that i want to fraud u
mariagurl002 : i just ask u
mariagurl002 : i have alot money :huh:
mariagurl002 : and ticket money is more more expensive than passport money u are talking about
kenc1959: you come here with your own passport and visa, I will marry you and make love to you for 7 days straight
mariagurl002 : i agree on that
mariagurl002 : on one condition
kenc1959: if you marry me you become a US citizen
mariagurl002 : really
kenc1959: yes
mariagurl002 : so can u send me the pasport money or not 😮
kenc1959: that must be worth more than a passport
mariagurl002 : no
kenc1959: you would not pay for your own passport to become a USCitizen?
mariagurl002 : just tell me how much u can afford ,and i will check if it can make a pssport money or not so i can include my money to complete it
kenc1959: I do not have enough money to pay my rent
kenc1959: can you western uion 500 dollars to me so we have a place to live?
kenc1959: certainly you can afford that, you vacation for 6 weeks
mariagurl002 : kool
mariagurl002 : i will do that
mariagurl002 : give me your information
mariagurl002 : where i can send it
kenc1959: Tops – Thruway Mall

700 Thruway Plaza Dr
Cheektowaga, NY 14225
Store Phone: 716-929-0380
kenc1959: you have to tell me the name you are sending it from and make a pin code so I can Identify it
mariagurl002 : but you can not send me money but you want me to send u
kenc1959: YES
mariagurl002 : okay
mariagurl002 : can u send me 200us dollar
kenc1959: I will once you send me 500 US Dollars
mariagurl002 : no
mariagurl002 : u send me 200us dollar
kenc1959: I need it for my rent or we cannot get married
mariagurl002 : yes
kenc1959: you send me 500 US Dollars, I pay my rent, then I send you 200 us dollars so you get your passport
kenc1959: then you can come here to Buffalo , marry me and become a US Citizen
mariagurl002 : u first send me 200 us dollar
kenc1959: you send me 723 British pounds them
mariagurl002 : u send me first
kenc1959: you send me first
mariagurl002 : no
mariagurl002 : send first
kenc1959: you come here and I will hand it to you
mariagurl002 : no
mariagurl002 : send it
mariagurl002 : how much is 200 us dollar
mariagurl002 : just change
mariagurl002 : and u cannot afford it
kenc1959: thats 5 days work for me
mariagurl002 : okay
kenc1959: thats about 3 hours work for an accountant
mariagurl002 : okay
kenc1959: are you going to pay my rent?
mariagurl002 : yes
kenc1959: I have a better idea. You send me money for a passport, and a plane ticket and I will come there to marry you. you will still become a US Citizen
mariagurl002 : dont worry
mariagurl002 : i will send u 500 us dollar
kenc1959: I will go pick it up tomorrow
mariagurl002 : yap
kenc1959: you can email me the information
mariagurl002 : bye
mariagurl002 : see u tommorow
mariagurl002 : take care
kenc1959: good night my love

I am sure there will be another episode, “she” saved my profile……[COLOR=blue]