Scams and Fraud! (First Hand Experience)

Last Update: September 30, 2014

As we go on with our daily life and as more people are having access to Internet or use of cyberspace as an extraordinary communication and information medium, we are getting involved to certain risks. Just this weekend, I experienced a Scam and Fraud which I want to share. It is not a direct affiliate marketing scam but it is worth knowing in order to Know How to Avoid or Respond as you could also experience. Today, almost any “traditional” crime can be committed with the help of technology. When you connect to another computer, not only do you receive information, but you also transmit datas.

Scams and Fraud comes in Various Forms such as identity theft and fraud, payment card fraud, e-mail fraud/phishing, mass marketing (telemarketing), internet-related fraud, investment and securities, counterfeit and others. We may be aware of the ways of avoiding a scam, precautions and actions to avoid viruses, malwares, etc. yet we could still be vulnerable. This is my actual first hand experience of a malware / “scareware” scam.

The Scenario

I was actually on my computer using the internet and doing multi-tasking work. As my usual practice, I have a lot of open window applications in my MFirefox browser. MS Word is open together with Yahoo Mail, WA, FB pages, Linkedin, Google search on various topic such as travel, work topic, etc. So basically, I was doing simply general net surfing. All of a sudden, pop-ups are coming out mostly pornographic content. As you try to close a window it is being replaced by 2 more tabs. While still trying to close windows the more pops-up was coming out and closing the whole browser doesn't work. Then a webpage from the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) appears with all the logo, images and emblem of the institution. It looks legit as it also shows your exact location and an IP address in blue and bold letters. This stats gives a strong impression that everything is authentic.

Then a pop-up message appeared in “red blinking” words warning that the computer is being frozen or has been “locked out” by RCMP Internet Investigation as you have been associated with pornography. These warning message is telling to pay $100.00 via Ukash (seems like a paypal) so that the computer can be “unlocked”. There is also a waring that if you do not pay the $100.00 fine within 96 hours criminal proceedings will commence. With the fast turn of events I was a bit taken off-guard but composed. I was really annoyed and of course alarmed. My instinct responded properly as I didn't entertain on paying but tried to close again the open tabs. Still more pop-ups appeared but it's good as the forced shutdown of the computer worked. As I restored "on", the computer pop-ups were already gone and things went normal.

Further Research / Investigation

Thinking of the what happened and with the warning saying that a criminal proceedings will commence in 94 hours when you don't pay the $100 (as if fine) I tried to research and google. In my search it was coming out that there were a lot of similar cases like this and has been recorded as a Scam and Fraud. These types of messages, commonly known as “scareware” are designed to create such shock and anxiety that victims respond by sending money quickly. Other variations include request payment by $100 Esso prepaid card. Past victims indicated that after input of the first card it will again ask for additional $100 pay. That is the time victims contacted the police. RCMP advice not to pay the $100. If you have been locked out of your computer, it’s an indicator that your system may have been infected with malware and you will need to take steps to address the problem.

Records show that this computer scam came out since last year and it is again getting active this days. The malware is thought to have originated in Eastern Europe. While this happened in Canada it could happen in any part of the world. As recommended, I have to check my antivirus and scan my computer and always follow all the precautionary measures to avoid future events. Reporting the case to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is definitley necessary.

Tips to Help Keep Your Computer Protected:

  • Never click on a pop-up that claims your computer has a virus
  • Update your anti-virus software often and scan your computer for viruses regularly
  • Don’t click on links or attachments in e-mails sent to you by someone you don’t know
  • Turn on your browser’s pop-up blocking feature
  • Never download anti-virus software from a pop-up link sent to you in an e-mail
  • Lots more . . .

A Similar RCMP Report / Story below:

New fake-RCMP computer scam fools Canadians”

http://bit.ly/IGdlIV


Thank you for reading this blog! Hope the info is helpful. Please take a moment to "LIKE" it and Share your comments . . . .


ben

"Get Organized 4 Success"

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WillingToTry Premium
Thank you Ben,

Cyber Crime is a most insidious form of warfare and we need to fight back with all the weapons available!
As a starter, here are 10 ways to improve your online security:
http://goo.gl/45TlRJ

Kind regards,
~Arthur
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benzburg Premium
You are welcome Arthur!
Indeed, they are the cyber terrorists that could compromise our efforts.
Thanks for your link! Good read for all . . . .
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stopscamming Premium
Thank you very much Benjamin, I totally agree with you , that is why I highly appreciated your great post.

Keep up with your good work.
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benzburg Premium
You are welcome Loide!
Your comment and feedback is appreciated.
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JewelCarol Premium
Thank you for sharing. Nowadays online scams are so common and it is terrible how these heartless people can do such things without feeling remorseful.
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benzburg Premium
Yes, Jewel! Thanks . . .
Truly, we got to be more vigilant with this widespread problem.
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chartreux Premium
Great blog, Ben. I recently found a good malware/ spyware program called Spyhunter. Gets rid of lots of threats and viruses that Symantec doesn't seem to pick up. And it costs only $29.
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benzburg Premium
Thanks Peter!
Good feedback on your software for the community.
I use McAfee with Antivirus and Spyware. Just not sure how the malware was still able to evade the software. Anyway no traces of un-usual thing observed after I did re-scan.
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mrpeter Premium
Thank you for this. These people are wicked, and not in a good way! They prey on the vulnerable and are difficult to track down. I now use a Chromebook most of the time. It has limitations but it was cheap and is inherently safer.
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benzburg Premium
You are welcome Peter!
Yup, I don't know how this people could live and sleep with their wrongdoings.
Chromebook, I supposed is just like an ipad which is handy?
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mrpeter Premium
Well it's not really, a Chromebook is just browser based so it doesn't operate the same way as anything else and cannot be subject to viruses, although it does have its limitations.
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benzburg Premium
Okay. Just not sure if it the same as our Google Chrome browser.
Thanks. . .
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