Monday, January 09, 2006


These guys would be better going fishing. At least that way they'd stand a better chance of a catch.

Is it just me or do others get emails which purport to be from banks and other institutions asking them to go to a web site and confirm their details?

The first ones were supposedly from the Halifax. These were quickly followed by the same message from Barclays and Nat West. When you don’t even have an account with the bank in question that is a pretty strong clue that the email is bogus. The other strong clue is the form of English which indicates that they are possibly coming from an Eastern European source. If I had followed the instructions and gave them my account details and passwords they would have cleared my balance as fast as I could blink.

The next mail was supposedly from EBay. This scam is well documented on EBay sites. Again the idea is that you go to a web site and confirm your details with similar consequences.

The latest one was well crafted and genuinely looked to have come from PayPal. It even had a sidebar warning me about email scams. Sadly for the perpetrator the message was in the wrong language for my account. The web address though was the best giveaway. Almost right but with a .us at the end.

Of course this is nothing new. When we were selling Pam’s car on the Internet we got lots of emails from people who were buying cars just like hers on behalf of Saudi Arabian clients. They didn’t want to see the car. Nor did they want to haggle the price. The cheekiest one told us he would send a bankers draft for more than we were asking. His idea was that we should give his agent the balance between the bankers draft and the asking price. Not only would we loose the car but a few thousand pounds into the bargain.

I wonder how many people actually do get caught by these scams?

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