SCAM ALERT: Fedex emails, Best Buy text messages and in the news, new APWG report

Just another quick “Be careful” note….

Today, I get to warn you about scams I am aware because I’ve personally gotten all of them in the last 24 hours.  The first, which I hope and expect NO ONE should fall for, is a flood of “Fedex” notifications that are so badly written they’re actually entertaining.

What’s more interesting to me as a linguist is to see if you can localize the scammer based on HOW it’s badly written.  For instance, Russian speakers (and those of other related Slavic languages) will frequently make all kinds of errors with particles. You see, Russian has no “a”, “an” or “the” equivalents, so they often appear (and disappear) sporadically and in the wrong places.  See excerpts from my flood of (malware-laden by the way, please don’t open those attachments!) Fedex notices the last few days.

  • “Our courier couldn’t make the delivery of parcel.”
  • “Label is enclosed to the letter.”
  • “…information about the procedure of parcels keeping…”

You can almost hear the voice of The Count from Sesame Street.

Then I got a text message that said:

“Your entry last month has WON! Goto and enter your Winning Code: “6655” to claim your FREE $1,000 Bestbuy Giftcard!”

What’s interesting about this one to me is the link sent via text.  This means essentially it is either:

  1. A phish in the classic sense, meaning it just asks you to divulge information on the destination page; or
  2. The link is malicious, which is kind of neat because, given the delivery via SMS, it would therefore (I assume) engage malware targeting either the iOS or Android operating system.

Given the deplorable, nearly non-existent state of mobile malware protections and smartphone anti-virus defenses, I elected not click the link from my phone to find out.  (Given that the domain was created on Monday of this week via anonymous registration in Panama, this seemed like a good site to avoid. )

Finally, in scam-related news, the Anti-Phishing Working Group published their report on H2 2011.  There’s a nice synopsis here, or you can download the full report from APWG’s Web site.



3 Responses

  1. My notification came from this number (407)342-2475 and the claimid was 412 after that was the code 6655, didn’t remember entering a contest so i refused to link in to that address also never heard any advertising to suggest that bestbuy had such a contest or campaign going on, hope everyone realizes that this is just some sort of scam to get info from them.

  2. Chinese English speaker make the same mistakes with particles for the exact same reason. If you’re lucky you might be able to catch confusion with he/she, since in spoken Chinese the pronunciation is the same.

  3. received text message about bustBuy card on my cell. Didn’t respond to it but checked it out on internet. Anti virus program caught it end of story.

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