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Monday 11 October 2010 5.05pm
I'm now seriously beginning to wonder if it is purely coincidence that every time I log-on to a website I've never used before, I get a spate of scam e-mails. Most of them inform me that I have come in to an unexpected large amount of money and they need my bank details in order to credit my account. Yeah, right.
There have been others offering me a commission if I allow a large sum of money to be paid to my account. 90 percent of it I should forward to that person's brother, who is in England and has lost all his money, cards etc. I can then keep the other ten per cent for my trouble. Again, of course, they need my bank details for this operation.
I recieved one today suposedly from Barclays Bank PLC, informing me that there had been some suspicious activity on my internet account and they had frozen it as a precaution against fraud. In order to reactivate it, I had to complete the online questionaire. Which, if I'd bothered to look at it, would have no doubt asked for my pesonal data. It was all very believable except for one minor detail. I don't have, and never have had, an account with Barclays; internet or otherwise.
The most plausable one I received was stated as being from the Inland Revenue, informing me that I was eligable for a large rebate of tax overpaid during the previous finacial year. It asked for my bank details so that they could credit my account. All very believable, except the amount they said I'd overpaid in that one year was more than I had paid in total over the previous five! I contacted the IR and they informed me that they never contact people by e-mail, only by letter. I'm sure no one out there would ever fall for these phishing scams, but they only need to catch one person out of the thousands they contact and they've made their money. It's just another example of how we all need to keep our wits about us in a world where there are, and always will be people who, rather than do an honest day's work, prefer to sit in front of their computers trying to devise ways of robbing honest people of ther hard-earned cash.
May they rot in the hot place.
Monday 11 October 2010 9.36pm
chalkey wrote:
I'm now seriously beginning to wonder if it is purely coincidence that every time I log-on to a website I've never used before, I get a spate of scam e-mails.

Nope. It's no coincidence.

Every time you visit any website, they can work out your email address. Don't believe me? - click this.

Notice the info in "Host" - all they have to do is put some made-up name in front of the host, add the @ symbol, and they can email you.

You might like to try running the tests on this site - to see how much other information your PC is leaking.

Click the "Proceed" button and then run all the tests by clicking the silver buttons under "ShieldsUP!! Services". The "All Service Ports" is an important one - if your PC fails, take note of the recommendations at the end of the test.
Tuesday 12 October 2010 9.19pm
Cheers, BSB.
I've had a look at that, but unfortunately it was like reading a foreign language to this computer-iliterate old dunasaur. But it is late, so I'll try again tomorrow.
Wednesday 13 October 2010 3.45pm
I had a good one today, not in my 'junk' file, but straight to my inbox. It said it was from Microsoft and looked very believable. It had the MS logo, warnings about security, how to combat 'spam' etc. It stated that my Hotmail account would shortly be closed because there were so many Hotmail accounts not being regulalry used and these were clogging the system. Clients wishing to avoid this action should verify their account by stating their password, user id ect., in the space below. I was about to contact Microsoft to check the authenticity of this e-mail, as I of course suspected it was bogus, when my daughter's boyfriend arrived and I told him about it. He said I was wasting my time contacting MS because they wouldn't be interested as there was nothing they would be able to do about it. He went on to say that he received a similar e-mail recently about his e-Bay account with identical wording. That too was bogus.
Friday 15 October 2010 1.13pm
chalkey wrote:
I'm sure no one out there would ever fall for these phishing scams,

Don't be so sure. The OFT is doing regular research into this, and has consistently found that there are always people falling for this stuff. And it's not just the elderly and uneducated either. There are plenty examples of the young and highly educated as well. Have a look here:

As for banks (I particularly like the ones for which I never, ever had an account), they tend to have a special e-mail address such as (where xxx is obviously the bank's name) where you can report these to. Just forward the e-mail. Although it might sound like a trivial thing to do, banks actually actively go after these and get them closed down in liaison with the relevant police forces or other authorities. They are however particularly rubbish at telling you that....
Friday 15 October 2010 2.08pm
Below is an example of what the banks will send back to you if you do forward one to them. For good measure - I don't work at NatWest, and don't have an account there either....

From: ~ [email protected] []
Sent: 15 October 2010 15:07
Subject: Thank you for your email

Thank you for sending on the suspected scam email you recently received.
We are committed to tackling the threat of financial crime, ensuring that your online banking experience is as safe and secure as possible. Our efforts are focused on taking appropriate action against those responsible for scam emails.
How to spot scam emails
• Scam emails will often ask you to verify or confirm your account or online banking details
• Scam emails may convey a sense of urgency by threatening to discontinue your service
• As fraudsters are unlikely to know your name, scam emails are often addressed with an impersonal greeting such as ‘Dear Valued Customer'
• Scam emails may contain poor spelling or grammar, or other unusual language
• Fraudsters can disguise website links in emails to make them appear genuine - don't trust these

We will never ask for your security and personal details by email.
If you do receive a scam email again,
• Do not follow any website links or click on any attachments
• Forward it to
• Delete all scam emails from your mailbox

What else can you do?
For further information on keeping you, your computer and your money safe, please visit our Security Centre at
Friday 15 October 2010 7.53pm
Thanks for that info. Tattie.
It confirms what I said earlier, in that we all have to constantly keep our wits about us. A lot of these characters, who are devising these scams, are very educated individuals. Sadly, they seek an easier living by scamming, rather than getting a 'proper' job.
Saturday 16 October 2010 9.52am
"There's a sucker born every minute" is a phrase often credited to P. T. Barnum

Why do people open emails from banks with whom they don't have an account? It just alerts the sender to the fact that your email account is live.
And never close a popup from within the popup window, any part of which can be configured to release a virus/trojan or keylogger. Always close popups with 'Alt+F4' I even close open windows using 'Alt+F4'.
Am I just paranoid?
Monday 18 October 2010 8.01am
Crikey Phoney, never knew that..:-)

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