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Sunday, December 25, 2011

iYogi - Scammers now devising iYogi Scam to get access to your personal data: Beware

From booking airline tickets to doing research, from academics to music, you name it, and the Internet is the go-to source for everything. The beauty of the Internet is that you get access to a vast pool of resources which the pre-Internet generation might never have even dreamed of. However, the downside of an all-powerful and omnipresent Internet is that it is now playing into the hands of unscrupulous elements who device malicious scams to dupe you, a prime example being the iYogi scam.

If you are yet to come across the iYogi scam, don’t get misled by the mention of iyogi in the scam. For, it is the scammers exploiting the name of the company to fulfill their perverse needs without the consent and knowledge of the company. Also, iYogi is just one of the many establishments exploited by these scammers; you must by now be familiar with the charity scam where the perpetrators impersonate themselves as some reputed charity organizations and solicit money and other help. One reason why scams like the iYogi scam flourishes is that users sometimes don’t bother to do the background check of the organization mentioned in the e-mail, especially when it bears all the designs of a well-established company. The iYogi scam has been thriving on the ignorance of users and if you are well informed you can avoid it. Let me share my mother-in-law’s horrible encounter with these scammers.

My mother-in-law is a retired school teacher, and is very active on the Internet. For her, the Internet means the world and something that keeps her going. An active member of many online forums like forums for the elderly people, for animal rights, human rights violation and a couple others, she also has a close group of friends that she communicates on the Internet. So, if the Internet is down even for a day, it is enough to make her go crazy. It so happened that this guy, calling himself a technician, and representing himself as a representative of iyogi, one day called my mother-in-law and started claiming that her system is infected and that if it is not fixed immediately, it will be permanently damaged. It was sufficient to make her panic. Seizing the opportunity, the guy said that he can fix the problem but that he needs to have remote access to the system. And for that he needs her to go to a certain site and download and install specific software on the system. By this time, the guy was having a firm hold over her senses and convinced her to do as he wanted. Actually, she had no prior experience of such a situation and since the guy was also claiming to be a representative of iyogi, she thought that there were few reasons to suspect his bona fides. But, after the remote connection was established, and the technicians worked on her system, she had a lot of heart burn and tragedy. Many files on her system were missing and the computer became almost inoperable. Even some of her profiles were compromised. For, as we found out later, the guy was not associated with iYogi and remote tech support was the last thing on his mind. It was a case of iyogi scam, which is increasingly targeting unsuspecting and elderly people.

When we approached iYogi, they categorically denied having anything to do with the iyogi scam saying that they follow strict moral and ethical policies. We too found no evidence to prove otherwise. They though showed genuine concern that malicious elements are using the company’s name to harass and rip off people. Making it clear that they don’t make cold calls, it has urged people not to entertain remote tech support from people identifying themselves as iyogi technicians until and unless their credentials are verified.

In fact, to raise awareness among Internet users about the perils of Internet scams and to provide users tips on how to avoid these scams, iyogi has been publishing iYogi scam alerts and iYogi fraud alerts for quite some time now. You can get to know a great deal about the latest and most malicious scams out there like online software scam, iyogi scam, online video scam, online dating scams, and inheritance scams through these alerts. It can be a good way to understanding the modus operandi of the scammers that will help users like you and I stand in good stead.

If you have any questions or doubts about the services offered by iyogi or about the iYogi scam, sharing them on the iYogi complaints form (the company has its own complaints form) would be a good idea.  This way you can seek a direct clarification from the company regarding any activity that you feel suspicious about and that involves the company’s name.

Dos and don’ts when an imposter lends at your door representing himself as an iYogi technician:

  • Before going too far into the discussion, figure out who you are dealing with. Don’t hesitate to ask as many questions you want to be sure. 
  • Don’t let him control the conversation. It is the most conducive scenario for him to manipulate you. If he is too smart for you, take help of a responsible and intelligent friend. 
  • Where did he find your number and how did he know that there is problem with your system? Let him explain.
  • Study his offer, whether he is offering too much for too little. If yes, it is sure sign of danger. Immediately shut shop!
  • If he is asking you to download programs from unheard of sites, or sites that are not dependable. Stop. First check his bona fides.

Remember, the premise ‘Prevention is better than cure’ equally applies to iYogi scam!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Top Five Online Scams

Here's a list of the Top 5 scams and schemes you're most likely to find on internet.

1. Auction Fraud
The setup: Online auction fraud accounts for three-quarters of all complaints registered with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (formerly the Internet Fraud Complaint Center). There are many types of eBay chicanery, but the most common one is where you send in your money and get nothing but grief in return.

2. Phishing Scams
The setup: You receive an e-mail that looks like it came from your bank, warning you about identity theft and asking that you log in and verify your account information. The message says that if you don't take action immediately, your account will be terminated.

The risk: Your account information will be sold to criminals, who'll use it to ruin your credit and drain your account. According to Gartner, phishing scammers took consumers (and their banks, who had to cover the charges) for $1.2 billion in 2003.

3. Nigerian 419 Letter
The setup: You receive an e-mail, usually written in screaming capital letters that starts out like this:

4. Postal Forwarding/Reshipping Scam
The setup: You answer an online ad looking for a "correspondence manager." An offshore corporation that lacks a U.S. address or bank account needs someone to take goods sent to their address and reship them overseas. You may also be asked to accept wire transfers into your bank account, then transfer the money to your new boss's account. In each case, you collect a percentage of the goods or amount transferred.

5. "Congratulations, You've Won an Xbox (IPod, plasma TV, etc.)"
The setup: You get an e-mail telling you that you've won something cool--usually the hot gadget du jour, such as an Xbox or an IPod. All you need to do is visit a Web site and provide your debit card number and PIN to cover "shipping and handling" costs.

Source: pcworld.com

Facebook: Win free iPad Promotion Scam

If you received any email saying that you have won an iPad from a "hotmail" account, it is a scam. Also note that scammers may fake any email account, including name@facebook.com, or something similar.

All the names used in the email are FAKE; Here is an example for the same:

On Thu, Oct 15, 2011 at 8:33 AM, James **** <palm****@hotmail.com> wrote:

Hello Friend,

My name is James ****, Chief technology officer of Facebook. We have recently partnered up with the apple company for a one-time promotional event today; we are giving away complimentary Apple iPads to randomly selected individuals who have been fortunate to be chosen as one of our newest winners for today. We randomly selected users from our systems database and you have matched with our latest drawing.

 We have partnered up with Apple Inc to advertise their hottest product yet, the Apple iPad. Once again, we are running this promotion for one-day only. All you need to do is CLICK HERE to go to our web site made for this promotion and key in your email to receive yours for free. Simply make sure you enter your email so we can locate our records to ensure that we have reserved one for you. That is it!

Congrats on winning a free Apple iPad2. In case you have any question or concerns, feel free to e-mail me back. However, you should claim your free iPad 1st to ensure one will be set-aside for you before the deadline ends. We do understand that you may possibly not receive this email until after the deadline, but, we suggest you check out the website and enter your email to see if we still have yours on hold, which we often-times do because others have not claimed theirs in time.

CTO, Facebook

Fake Scam Steve Jobs Charitable Foundation

If you received an email from "Steve Jobs Charitable Foundation", it is a scam. The email, written in poor English, asked for donation to help young web coders. There is no such "charitable trust".

Other scams in the past 2 - 3 weeks after Steve Jobs death include an announcement about giving away free iPads in remembrance of Steve Jobs. The main objective to this scam is to drive traffic to the website, and when you click to such links you’ll be asked to fill surveys online to get free iPad.

It is not uncommon for criminals and cyber-crooks to take advantage of title-grabbing events to spread their creations and affect the maximum number of victims possible in a short period of time.

These scams work by tricking users into visiting websites where they are told they have won a valuable prize, such as an iPad, an iPhone or apple products. Obviously, the unsuspecting victim will never get the prize, but rather a series of costly spam messages. In addition, malicious websites like these leverage geo-location data to display messages in different languages depending on the user's location.

Please stay away from such scams like Fake Steve Jobs Charitable Foundation Scam. Have safe internet browsing and stay away from such scammers online.

Good Luck

Stay Safe from Identity Theft

Here are some tips to protect yourself against identity theft:

1.    Protect your personal information. It's a valuable commodity.
2.    Only share your credit card or other personal information when you're buying from a company you know and trust.
3.    Know who you're dealing with.
4.    Walk away from any company that doesn't clearly state its name, physical address, and telephone number. A Web site alone or a mail box drop should raise suspicions.
5.    Don't rely on verbal promises. Get all promises in writing and evaluate them carefully before you make any payments or sign any contracts.
6.    Read and understand the fine print in any written agreement.
7.    Don't pay "up-front" for a loan or credit. Remember that legitimate lenders never "guarantee" a loan or a credit card before you apply, especially if you have bad credit, no credit, or a bankruptcy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


This scam targeted users searching “Stephenie Meyer”

• A result for “Stephenie Meyer at 365Multimedia.com” returned with a description of “Stephenie Meyer interview on Twilight the movie starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart”.

• When clicked on, this link redirected users to a window informing them that they are infected with malware and they are then advised to download a phony antivirus software product to get rid of the infection.

• As Victims downloaded and installed the phony antivirus software they are asked for credit card information.

• Malware was then installed on the user’s computer and any financial information entered is sent off to cyber criminals.

Source: en.twilightpoison.com