Tag Archives: Facebook

Sick Child Facebook Hoaxes (OR: Don’t Like, Don’t Share, Don’t Type Amen)

You’ve almost definitely seen this if you use Facebook: a picture of a child or baby with some alarming medical condition appears in your newsfeed, along with instructions to type “Amen” in the comments, like and share the picture so Facebook will donate money to the child in the picture, let the child know you think they’re still beautiful, or share the post because “one share = one prayer,” and of course to keep scrolling if your [sic] heartless.

I’m here to tell you: be heartless. These posts are hoaxes. You’re definitely helping someone by liking, commenting and sharing, but it’s not the child in the photo.

First, those pictures are used without permission from the child or their parents. Sometimes the children in the pictures don’t have a medical issue, they’re just random photos somebody found on the Internet. This is pure exploitation.

Furthermore, Facebook does not donate money to individuals for medical treatments based on a photo being liked and shared. They’ve done it zero times in the past, and they’re going to do it zero times in the future, forever.

Here’s what you’re really doing when you comment, like, share or interact with one of these posts: you’re helping somebody who created a Facebook page, hijacked a photo of a child without permission, then created a post designed to generate thousands of likes and comments sell the page to someone else as a ready-made, plug-and-play, already-popular page.

It has to do with how Facebook prioritizes things in a news feed. Things don’t appear in unfiltered, chronological order. Posts which have already generated tons of activity (comments, likes, shares) get an additional boost from the Facebook algorithm. In other words, things that are already popular are boosted so they can become more popular, while things that are not popular get buried.

So a Facebook page (which is different from a personal profile) that generates super-popular posts with tons of interaction (i.e., thousands of people sharing and commenting “Amen”) will get a boost for future posts. It’s called like-farming. At that point, the person or company who created the page and post can sell it to anyone who will pay for it, the buyer changes the name of the page, and then runs whatever scam or ripoff they can come up with.

How should you respond to one of these posts?

First, don’t like, share, or type “amen.” But also don’t comment “this is a hoax,” because the algorithm only counts comments. It doesn’t care about their content. Besides, your comment will only be buried by a thousand “amens” within seconds anyway.

You can report the post or the page to Facebook, but there are so many of these hoaxes that it can be like playing whack-a-mole with a drinking straw (and forty thousand moles).

Definitely let your Facebook friend who shared it know that the post is a hoax and that they’re not helping a child at all. Let them know that the photo was used without permission, and that they’re only helping some con artist exploit children for personal gain.

If you need more evidence to convince your friend, here’s an article by the mother of a child whose photo has been repeatedly hijacked for this exact purpose: Why you SHOULDN’T “type Amen and share” posts of sick children.

Free Disney Vacation Scam Alert

If you haven’t already, at some point very soon you are going to see this image on Facebook:

2015-07-17-disney-scam

The hook is this: like the photo, share it, then visit a website to enter a contest for a free Disney World vacation.

Here’s the problem: the Facebook page this image resides on is NOT the official Disney World page. It is an impostor designed to trick users into liking the page. Once enough people have done so, the page content will be changed to push other scams into the news feeds of the people who liked the Disney page.

Now, why am I such a downer? Why am I trying so hard to make people sad? How do I know it’s a fake Disney page?

Well, look at this screenshot for a moment (click to see it full-size):

2015-07-17-disney-scam-02

Do you see what it says next to the profile picture? I’ll zoom in a little so you can read it better (click for full size):

2015-07-17-disney-scam-02a

It says “Walt Disney-World.”.

Notice the dash.

Notice the period.

Notice the category: “Transport/Freight.”

Notice the lack of the blue “Verified Page” checkmark next to the name.

Do you think for one moment that a company the size of Disney would have ITS OWN NAME written incorrectly on its own Facebook page? Look at any official Disney website or product. Do you see “Walt Disney-World.” anywhere?

Do you see Walt Disney World train cars and semi trailers all over America’s railroad tracks and roadways, delivering jars of pickle relish and car parts and textiles? No? That’s because Disney World is a theme park, not a transportation and freight business.

Do you believe Disney World’s official Facebook page would have 20,000 likes (as of today) and ONE lousy post? And no link to the official Disney World website?

These, and a dozen other points, are your free ticket to knowing that this Facebook page and offer are a scam.

Go look at Walt Disney World’s official Facebook page. Notice:

  • 14 million likes
  • The name is correctly punctuated (which is to say there is NO punctuation)
  • The category is listed as “Theme Park,” which is correct
  • The checkmark next to “Walt Disney World.” This means Facebook has verified that the page is official. You can hold your mouse over the checkmark and a little window will pop up that says “Verified Page”
  • Posts going back to 2009
  • Multiple posts, pretty much every day

I’m taking a pretty emphatic tone because I want people to stop falling for fake Facebook pages. I’m tired of seeing people I know get taken in by this stuff because it helps crooks spread spam and fraud to millions of people. If you see this photo and post in your Facebook newsfeed, please do the following:

  • DO NOT SHARE, LIKE OR COMMENT ON the page yourself
  • Tell whoever shared it or posted it that it is a scam and that they need to unlike the page right away; point them to the real Disney World page if they don’t believe you
  • Go to the fake page and Report it as fraudulent to Facebook
  • Share this article, or this one from the Consumerist if you can’t bring yourself to take my word for it

I don’t Facebook much anymore, but I’ve always lived by an “If it’s being shared a lot on Facebook, it’s probably not true” code. It’s a pretty accurate rule, and the stuff that IS true you’ll hear from credible sources eventually anyway.

 

 

A brief list of things you’re not getting simply for liking a page on Facebook

fb-scams-neonSeveral times a month, I hear about a new scam making the Facebook rounds. Inevitably, they all seem to involve the same pattern: this company is giving away a free gift card (or item) to everyone on Facebook if they like this page!

I don’t always write a new article about it because I would just end up with a template; “There’s a new scam on Facebook, claiming that ____ is giving away $_____ gift cards for liking a page. Don’t do it.” I’d rather just talk about the principle than rehash the specifics every single time.

For one thing, think about the numbers: Ikea is giving away $1,000 gift cards to everyone on Facebook? There are 800 million people on Facebook. That means their budget for this one promotion would be $800 billion. Ikea’s profits in 2010 were “only” 2.7 billion. Heck, the entire GDP of Sweden was $338 billion last year.

But, just in case you’d like a few examples of things you’re not going to get for free just for clicking “like” on a page, here’s a brief list:

  • $100 Costco gift card
  • $1,000 Ikea gift card
  • Amazon.com gift card
  • $100 KFC gift card
  • $1,000 Walmart gift card
  • Free iPad2
  • $50 Starbucks gift card
  • $25 iTunes gift card
  • A free gift card in any amount, or a free trendy high-tech device, from any retailer in the entire Universe, including all possible parallel Universes and/or dimensions, from now until the very end of Time itself (and in all future incarnations thereof if it turns out Time is cyclical and is repeated on a Cosmic infinite loop of some kind), ever, just for “liking” page on Facebook. This includes if you find yourself in a whimsical land of magic and wonder after chasing a white rabbit down a hole, or after hiding in a wardrobe and ending up in a forest and being greeted by the Faun Tumnus.

That last one is a little more general.

The point is: these are scams. They always have been, and they always will be. Don’t “like” the pages, don’t even visit the pages. If you’ve got friends who keep falling for this stuff, tell them it’s a scam. Every single time if you have to. A little public shaming can go a long way.

FPU Noir: The Lost Messages on Facebook

BigComboTrailerNote: for maximum atmosphere, first scroll to the bottom of this post and play the YouTube video, and listen to the music while you read.

The night meowed at the window of the dingy third-floor office on the wrong side of town like a housecat left out in the rain, trying to draw my gaze from the hand of solitaire laid out on the desk between half-empty cups of cold coffee, old newspapers and an ashtray spilling over with stale butts. I glanced at the window and shuddered for some reason, then wondered who left all the spent Chesterfields there, seeing as how I don’t smoke. They made a good prop, though, so I returned to my cards. If I could just find the other red queen, I was set.

It was the kind of night that slithers through the gutters and alleyways, around garbage cans and dumpsters, up fire escapes and into the ventilation. It always finds a way in, always creeps up behind you, always gets you in the end. There was a knock at the door, and a woman entered.

She was one sad-luck dame by the look of her, all switchblade sadness and razor gloom, whatever that means. She was carrying a laptop computer (which seemed anachronistic given the setting, but this was the Fraud Prevention Unit, and these newfangled bean-counters were the rule these days).

She just stood there for a minute and looked unsure. “Are…are you the one they call ‘Sledge?'”

“That’s me,” I said. “Hank Sledge, Private Fraud Investigator.”

“Oh. I…oh.” She swayed on the spot, as if trying to decide something.

“C’mon, spill it, sister,” I spat.

“Well, it’s just…I got this email the other day and I don’t know what to do.”

I looked at the gray computer tucked under her arm. “And you figure some mug’s got you pegged as an easy mark? Toss that mill up here on the table. Let’s see what we got.”

She placed the laptop on the desk and hit the power button. It took a minute to start up, and the awkwardness hung in the air like burnt toast. “So…um…read any good books lately?” I started to say, but the machine was ready.

“This one right here,” she said, and I read the email.

The message said it was from Facebook, and if it was a ringer it was a darn good one. It went like this:

From: Facebook <notification+tnejvqakyz@notifierfacebook.com>
Subject: You have 3 lost messages on Facebook…

Facebook sent you a notification

You have 3 lost messages on Facebook, to recover a messages please follow the link below: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?recover.messages=563f03b5d6f9

How to get back your lost messages on Facebook

At the bottom was a green button that said “Frequently Asked Questions.”

“Did you click on anything in this mess?” I said.

“No, I don’t think so.”

“You can’t think so. You either clicked or you didn’t. Think hard.”

“No, I didn’t. Jeez. Jerk.”

“Sorry ma’am. Hardboiled crime fiction. I have to talk to everybody that way.”

“Oh.'”

“Anyway,” I continued, “it’s good you didn’t click. This is a swindle through and through. See this?” I showed her the message header. “If it was from Facebook, it wouldn’t be coming from some ‘notifierfacebook.com’ domain.”

“And check this out.” I moused over the link. “It says ‘facebook.com,’ but it’s disguised. Every link in the message takes you to this weird ‘winesofworld.org’ website. Classic phishing message. These punks either want to infect your computer with malware or steal your password. There’s also the crummy English; see where it says, ‘to recover a messages?’ Makes no sense. Finally, there’s no such thing as ‘lost’ messages on Facebook.”

Her eyes were dinner plates. “So what do I do with it?”

“If I was you, lady, I’d drill it with my heater,” I spat.

“What?”

“Just delete it.”

“Oh,” she said, and snapped the laptop shut. “Okay, cool. Thanks. Nice hat, by the way.”

I nodded thanks as she disappeared out the door and went back to my game. Black eight to red nine. The card underneath was the queen of diamonds. “There’s my lady,” I murmured over the lonesome wail of a siren echoing across the night.

Facebook Scams: They’re after your children

Facebook scams involving pop culture icons are nothing new.

How many people clicked on a link promising a video of Justin Bieber behaving badly, only to end up on a bogus survey site and spread the disease to all their friends when the malicious site forced them to “like” the video (sight unseen because there was no video) to proceed? At some point, the victim is asked to reveal their phone number, which causes about $30 worth of premium-rate services to show up on their phone bill.

There was another one that promised advance movie tickets to one of the Harry Potter sequels. Same deal: bogus survey site. Now there’s one that promises tickets to a Twilight sequel that isn’t even coming out for over a year. Betcha can’t guess what it leads to.

Think about who these con artists are targeting.

They’re not targeting me. I don’t care how Justin Bieber is behaving. I’m a cranky music nerd in my mid-30s; I already suspect Bieber of evil just by the mere fact that his music exists (although if you slow it down 800%, it’s absolutely gorgeous—is this what it sounds like to 11 year old girls?).

No, they’re targeting your kids. I know that generalizations are bad, but I also know that billions are spent each year on marketing and demographics research. Check it out:

  1. Who are the people, by gender and age, who really care about the next Twilight move?
  2. Are these people “heavy” or “rare” Facebook users?
  3. Given their age, are they more or less likely to be somewhat impulsive and easily swayed by a Facebook friend’s “like?”
  4. Do they tend to have cellular phones or not?

It’s a perfect storm; if they only snag 1% of teenage girls who use Facebook, are into Twilight and have cell phones, that’s about fifty gazillion scam victims right there. At $30 per fraudulent cell phone charge, we’re talking some serious coin.

The key is to somehow get your kids to understand what a Facebook scam looks like. What’s okay to click on? What’s not? How do you impress upon them to never, ever give out their phone number (or other personal information) to a website?

Facebook recently (and finally) released a guide to using the site safely. You can download it here: Own Your Space: A Facebook Guide to Security. I applaud the company for, at long last, finally admitting that their site is not totally safe to just blindly click on everything that shows up on your page.

The guide claims to be “For Young Adults, Parents and Educators,” but I doubt many teens are going to read anything that begins with the sentence, “If there was any doubt on the incredible power of social networking, consider the more than one billion pieces of content shared each day with over half a billion users.” I’m about to fall asleep just pasting that, and I have a degree in English Literature; long, dull treatises were a daily encounter at one point in my life .

No, this thing was written for adults, and there’s some really good information within. Download it and read it yourself, then talk to your kids. I suppose the best way to really learn the ropes is to join the site yourself, but at the very least, talk to them about security on a regular basis. And make sure they know there are no free movie tickets.

Facebook “check out your profile stalkers” scam

For what seems like the millionth time, a scam has made the rounds on Facebook purporting to reveal to users who has viewed their profiles, only to turn out to be yet another in a long line of malware attacks. Here’s the text of the wall post:

“OMG! Its unbelievable now you can get to know who views your profile. I can see my top profile visitors and I am so shocked that my ex is still creeping my profile every hour.”

If you click on it, it tells you to paste a line of code into the URL field…you know what? I’m not even going to go into it. Suffice it to say that it perpetuates the scam.

Here’s the thing: there is no way to see who has viewed your Facebook profile. There’s never going to BE a way to see who has viewed your Facebook profile. OMG! I KNOW, RIGHT?!

Here are the key takeaways from this information:

  • If you see a wall post claiming to link to an application or website that shows you who has viewed your profile, don’t even stop to wonder if it’s real. It’s not. It never has been, and it never will be.
  • You don’t NEED to see who has viewed your profile. What are you really going to do with that information? If you answer that question honestly, it’s “nothing positive.”
  • You also don’t NEED to see that, no, your ex is totally NOT “creeping” your profile “every hour,” because he actually couldn’t care less what you’re up to anymore. Just enjoy the (more than a little conceited) assumption that he’s pining for you, unable to sleep or eat, scrawling tortured poetry in a black notebook under a bare 40-watt light bulb. If that’s what it takes to get you through the day.
  • If you’re still worried about who is looking at your profile, set it to “private” already.
  • If you’re still still worried about who is looking at your profile, click the little X in the upper right corner of the screen (or wherever the X is on a Mac), shut down the computer completely and stand up. Put on some shoes. Now, walk out the front door of your house and look around. Go for a run. Or a walk. Or drive to the library. Call someone on the phone and talk. Arrange to meet and do something together. Repeat daily until you no longer care who is looking at your Facebook profile.

Online privacy vs. the need to share

I’ve been on the fence about social networking lately. To what extent does it allow us to connect, reconnect and share, and to what extent does it give far too many third parties access to our personal lives?

And when I say “social networking,” let’s have it out in the open: that means Facebook. I mean, it’s possible to overshare on Twitter, but most tweets amount to inane babble that doesn’t reveal much about anything. It’s possible to overshare on MySpace, but that would require people to still be using MySpace when, in general, they’re not. It’s all about the Facebook these days.

Sure, Facebook can be fun. You can find people you haven’t seen in years. Share photos. Make flippant remarks about everything (this is mostly what I do there).

But I think the company is cocky sometimes. They have been guilty of assuming that, just because you want to share a photo with your friends, you automatically want to share it with literally every single person (and company) with an Internet connection. I also heard they were predicting 750 million, then 1 billion, users before too long, after they hit 500 million. Sorry. It isn’t going to happen. Facebook has been the king for a few years, but if there’s one rule on the Internet, it’s that nothing lasts forever. Unless you’re Google, apparently. I digress.

If you still want to use Facebook rather than be an early un-adopter and delete your account, I think it’s okay to do so, but you have to keep a few things in mind. You can’t just click everything that shows up on your screen.

Privacy Settings

Check your privacy settings every now and then. The safest method is to set everything on “Friends Only.” That mostly locks other people out, as far as viewing your photos and reading what you post.

Whenever Facebook introduces a new feature, new layout, or other big changes, it’s a good idea to re-check your privacy settings. In the past, “new look” usually meant “we changed all your settings back to the default, which is everybody in the universe can see everything you post.” A major update just came out, or is about to; I can’t even tell anymore. At any rate, check your settings regularly, just to make sure.

Regardless of settings, your name, location and profile photo are still visible, though. Keep that in mind. Also, if you use any “Facebook apps” (games, etc.), the publishers of those can also access your information. Which brings us to…

Applications/Games

Here’s the short version: just don’t do it. Farmville. Mafia Wars. Happy Aquarium. Farm Wars. Happy Mafia. Whatever. Just avoid them.

See, the problem with these applications is that they are created by third-party vendors, not Facebook itself. While Facebook has a privacy policy in place with regards to your information (bad PR pretty much forced their hand), these other companies might be a little more…free…with your info. It’s better to keep a tighter watch on who has your data.

Plus, these games are just a massive waste of time. You can’t tell me those hours wouldn’t be better spent away from your computer.

Other Things You Can Click On But Shouldn’t

It’s not all just apps and games on Facebook, either. There are always a million things showing up in your friends’ status feeds, often with accompanying links.

Here’s your first rule: there is no app that will tell you who has viewed your profile. It doesn’t exist. There are, however, scams that use this promise to give crooks access to your profile.

Here’s another one: any combination of words like “OMG,” “this really works,” “five things,” or scandalous videos depicting a celebrity currently huge with teenagers (Justin Beiber is the soup du jour), is not going to lead you to what it says it will lead you to. It’s called “likejacking,” and I’ve written about it before.

One more: your friend is not stranded in London, having been mugged. Someone has hacked his account and is trying to get you to wire money overseas.

Basically, if you’re using Facebook for anything beyond connecting with friends, you’re opening your information up to third parties. Some of them just want to advertise to you. Others want to steal from you.

Okay, it’s probably okay to “like” your favorite band’s official page in order to stay updated on new releases and tour dates. And it was funny when that pickle got more fans than Nickelback.

But, really, is all of this necessary? My goal would be to spend less time on Facebook, not more. I started using the Internet in 1995, and I’ll be honest: I’ve gained some weight over those 15 years. I can’t help but wonder if I’d be more fit now if I’d done more face-to-face social networking, and less BBQ-potato-chip-to-face social networking while sitting in front of a computer screen.

Having a dedicated computer for online banking

Clipart of bills and coins
Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a great idea that doesn’t get talked about enough: having a computer you use only for online banking and other financial activities, and a different computer for games, music and general Internet usage.

It seems like an expensive route to have two separate computers, but think about it—your financial machine only has to be just powerful enough to handle an operating system, an Internet connection and a web browser. You don’t need massive amounts of RAM or a great (or even particularly good) video card. You could probably even find a used laptop running Windows XP (if you’re a PC user; however I would not recommend Windows Vista) if you poke around. Install your antivirus software and Mozilla Firefox with the NoScript plugin, and you’re ready to go. I would also recommend setting up a separate email address for anything related to finances, and only check it with your financial computer.

What this does is keeps your financial activities separate from everything else; you’re not likely to encounter malware by logging in to your credit card providers or financial institution’s website. In the meantime, if you run into malware trouble on your “fun” computer while mucking about on the Intertubes, the damage will be limited. Your banking passwords won’t get snagged by a keylogger you picked up on an infected website, even if your Facebook password does.

Of course, buying a separate computer is going to cost money whether you go new or used, and in any case you have to keep your security software up-to-date on both machines. It’s not an option for everyone. However, if you can swing a few hundred bucks for a dedicated banking computer and some good security software, it’s just one more layer of protection.

What is likejacking?

You have to love the Internet. It used to take years for new words to be coined and gain popular usage. Over the last decade and a half or so, as Internet usage has evolved from something only nerds do to most people’s primary source of information, new words are coined and take off within days. Podcast. Lifehacking. Likejacking.

Likejacking is a recent term that is really just a Facebook-specific form of clickjacking that involves tricking users into following a link to a website, usually to obtain some form of content (usually video). However, the content doesn’t get delivered at all.

The user clicks on what appears to be a video player within the website, but there is no player. There is, however, a hidden link that causes the page to show up on the user’s Facebook status (i.e. “Joe Blow likes FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD NEVER USE A CELLPHONE AGAIN”). Joe’s friends see this update, wonder what Joe now knows that they don’t, and they get roped in.

Meanwhile, Joe Blow is being redirected some sort of bogus survey site or other shady website. It’s usually a ploy by dishonest people to abuse online affiliate programs—trick a bunch of people to click on your pay-per-click ads and rake in a nice chunk of money.

The way I understand the likejacking process is this: on the malicious website, you have something that looks like an embedded video player, but is actually just a JPG image of one. This object is set up to be “transparent,” i.e. you can’t act on it by clicking, so even though you can see it, to your computer it’s not there at all. However, if a different object (such as a Facebook “like” link) is hidden underneath the JPG, when you click on what you think is a video player’s “play” button, you’re actually clicking the “like” link hidden below it.

The basic avoidance techniques are the same in the case of likejacking; if one of your friends appears to be posting a link to some sort of sensational/juicy content, don’t click. Urge your friend to remove the update, too. ALL CAPITAL LETTERS are a bad sign, as well as any variation of “once you see this _____, you won’t ever _____ again.”

Now that I typed those spaces in there, all I can think of is Mad Libs. Let’s see…a noun and a verb. Okay, DUCK and SMILE. “Once you see this duck, you won’t ever smile again!” Yeah! Comedy gold!

Oh, never mind.

Ridiculous Spam Friday the 13th

How’s that for timing? The thirteenth installment of Ridiculous Spam Friday falls on an actual Friday the 13th. I love it when a plan comes together.

Let’s get to the garbage…

From: Dick Glock <[removed]@amadorcoe.k12.ca.us>
Date: Sunday, August 01, 2010 11:30 AM
To: info@lotto.co.uk
Subject: Final Notification!!!?

Dear e-MAIL Winner,
Your email address won £850,000.00 GBP in this month NATIONAL LOTTERY E-mail online drew.
To file for your claim, contact our agent Mr.Albert Nelson.  with
the details below(Full Names, Contact Address, Country, Age, Sex, Occupation &
Telephone numbers) to this Email: uknldepartment2010@discuz.org  Phone Number: Tel:+44 7024027755

MODE OF PAYMENT !!!

Option (1)  Via Courier Delivery

Option (2)  Via Bank Wire Transfer

Note: This is an automatic message do not click on your reply button send all details to the below  Email:  uknldepartment2010@discuz.org  

Yours Sincerely,
Dick Glock

I removed the email address under “From” because it is apparently the legitimate address of an administrator for a school district out in California. Where do spammers get the legit addresses from?

At any rate, since it’s just another lottery scam message, you don’t even have to wonder why a school admin would be telling you about a lottery, since you already know it’s a scam. The incredulous punctuation in the subject line (“!!!?”) is cute, though.

From: Zoosk Request Notification <noreply@dipfishesnet.com>
Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 12:09 PM
To: [correct address]
Subject: Facebook Notification – Zoosk dating app

-Someone is searching for you on a Facebook application called Zoosk-     
      
Press here to see who wants to make a connection with you:     
http://dipfishesnet.com/c/ejAvaGhF7140LFFvOEtFKA.html?0      

—–      
             
To not receive this message again please visit this page:     
http://dipfishesnet.com/c/ejAvaGhF7140LFFvOEtFKA.html?1     
      
or write to:     
      
Zoosk Inc. 475 Sansome Street., 10th Floor,     
San Francisco, CA 94111     
To remove yourself from this list,
click here http://dipfishesnet.com/u/ejAvaGhF7140LFFvOEtFKA.html
or write to us at:
PO Box 85073
Richmond, VA 23285-5073

And how, pray tell, would an application on Facebook (I thought Zoosk was its own site) be trying to find me at my work email address? That’s not the one I use there.

This one serves as a good reminder: never click the “unsubscribe” link in a spam message. All you’re doing is confirming that your address is good. I wonder what happens if you write to the P.O. Box, though. I’d imagine putting your email address, full name and home address into the hands of these people could be even worse. Ten bucks says that P.O. Box is just a drop site that is set up to forward everything to Russia.

From: [removed]
Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 10:29 AM
To: [removed]
Subject: Hello!

Hello!
How are you recently?
I bought a laptop from a website:   www.laosm.info/ Last week, i  have got the product, its quality is very good and the price is  competitive. They also sell phones, TV, psp, motor and so on, by the  way, they import products from Korea and sell new and original  products, they have good reputation and have many good feedbacks. If  you need these products, look at this website will be a clever choice.
I am sure you will get many surprise and benefits.
Greetings!Hello!

Hello! This one came from a person I work with, although from their personal email address. Somehow it was used to forward this message to every one of her contacts. Greetings! She’s perfectly capable of using coherent English, so I could tell right away something was fishy.

I’m sure you’d get all kinds of “surprise” if you tried to follow that link and actually purchase electronics, and there’d be absolutely nowhere to give them any negative “feedbacks.” Hello! Greetings!