Monday, March 29, 2010 scam

Edit III: For password security tips, check out How I'd Hack Your Weak Passwords. Great article. Applying what it teaches can prevent your email being hacked (partly killing this type of scam), and saving you in other ways too.

Edit II: This has become a popular post. In light of this, at the end of the post I have added a couple links to books on recognizing scams. For full disclosure, I have not read them, but they do come with good reviews on Could be useful for staying safely away from other scams.

Edit: the comments contain some email security tips, which can help prevent scams like the following being perpetuated.

Just a warning as this looks like a new one, being that there is next to no word on it when I search for it. I did find an inquiry on Hoax-Slayer's Facebook page from someone who received the same email.

The following email came from the email account of someone my wife knows. No word yet on if that person sent it, or somehow her account was hacked.

Email subject line: "Share Surprise!"

Body of email:

"A friend of mine bought a laptop at a online store [a link to the website was here], he has received it and it has very good quality,this online store also sells TV,cellphone, and etc....
Recently this online store is making their promotion, they can offer very good discounts, and this promotion will be available for 30 days! If you like, please log on their website and have a try! I am sure you will get lots of surprises there, please always remember to share good deals with friends!


That whole email sounds scammy to me (english a bit off, clearly not written from a friend, and it ends in "Greetings!"). Flag one. When going to the site you see an actual site. Looks nice, seemingly well made, and low low prices. Ridiculously low. Flag number two. Click on the "About Us" and the english used is clearly from a non-native english speaker. Flag three. Claim that "all our products are produced from Korea." Flag four. Click on the "How to Payment" [sic] link and you get this line: "You can use online bank to pay, or go to your local bank or any other bank to pay. It is very easy and the bank worker also can help you." Flag Five. They provide info for paying via Western Union. Flag Six. Or pay via PayPal, but you must email them to get info for paying via PayPal "Because there are many frauds in Nigeria that use fake paypal to pay in order to deceive our products,so if you want to use paypal payment please enquire customer service MSN or email for paypal account." That's a direct quote. Flag Seven.

What a great scam. Built an entire site to enhance confidence, and because of it will likely nail a lot of people before word gets out on it. Then when word gets out, they'll now doubt port the site to a new domain and do it all over again.

Edit: With this post being quite popular, I thought I'd offer a couple suggestions for books about scam recognition:

The Truth About Avoiding Scams
Scams & Swindles... How to Recognize And Avoid Rip-Offs In The Internet Age


andrew said...

i got it too, via someone i know whose products for sale are a little dubious.
1) prices too good to be true(like 25% of list)
2)not wanting to use paypal?
3) why in euros if all products are from korea as they state ( mac is made in china)

i like they way they site nigerian scams as why they would prefer not to use paypal

sunnyfunnybunny said...

My gmail just got hacked this morning with that exact 'share surprise' message. At 6:15am this morning, some IP address in china spammed everyone in my contact list. My sent folder is filled with 640 new messages.
Incidently my phone was also stolen 2 days ago. I thought there was a correlation, but now I'm just thinking i'm having a streak of bad luck. I've changed my passwords multiple times already. I don't know what to do anymore.

Daniel Heywood said...

@ sunnyfunnybunny

A few email security tips learned from Popular Mechanics ("Securing Web Mail", 4/2009, p. 120):

Don't answer your security questions truthfully. If you do, many of the answers could be often be found on the internet, even via something like your Facebook profile page.

Once sent, email can be intercepted. Info in them may also be used to hack your account if you are not careful about the info given in it. Gmail allows encryption of emails. To turn it on go to Settings: General, and scroll down to "Browser connection." Select "Always use https," the "s" standing for secure, or encrypted. Gmail will load slower, but your messages won't be so easily intercepted. supposedly offers even greater security for email.

If you use your phone for email, if it has passwords stored on it, and it was stolen, indeed it could be related to your email account woes.

sunnyfunnybunny said...

thanks for that, daniel- some of the best advise i've gotten so far.

Emilia Akemi said...

I bought a product in this site but i dont want it because it isnt safe..(yeap, i didnt realise that at first...)

they are saying that if i wont pay until 15 days, they will "resolve by law"
im worried about it..what can do?

can they do something with that?

Help please ..

Daniel Heywood said...

Hey, Emilia, really, you needn't worry about it. They're scammers. They don't have the law on their side. The only worry you should have is if you do pay. If you pay, they'll only be taking your money without sending you a product.

bren said...

Hi Daniel,
I am so thankful of your review of the I am glad that I thought of looking fo reviews of their site. I made an order with them few days ago and I was requested to pay it first by bank transfer. I was hesitant to do it since I told them I have a paypal account and I wanted to pay it through this method but they preferred me to pay to their bank account so this pushed me to wonder and to make sure. I just had to find reviews of their site and I am again thankful that I came to know that they are just a scam. I hope everyone should be aware and not to believe in them. Their product prices are just ridiculously unbelievable.


Daniel Heywood said...

For password security tips, check out

Great article.