Category Archives: Field Reports

Cleanup reports of startupware from the real world.

Microsoft Says Malware is in my Computer. Which One?

I wonder just how big the call center is that’s calling every phone number in the USA and saying these words…

“Hello. My name is Mike”
(Sounded more like his name was anything but Mike, actually.)
“I am calling from the Microsoft. We have for last fours weeks now see malware in your computer.”
Me: Hello, Mike!
Me: Well, that’s OK. My computers get messed up a lot. Kids.
“Well, yes, we now see malwares in your computer, and we can fix…”
Me: Which one?
Me: Which computer is it in? I have eleven.
“How many computer you have?”
Me: Eleven. All the kids have at least one, and a school notebook. Tell me the name of the sick one, or the user name, and I’ll let you fix it.
(long silence. quiet hangup, really)

Remember, fraud implies trust. Your trust. When in doubt, ask lots of basic questions. Of course, “Mike” is no more of a Microsoft employee, contractor, or affiliate than any other con artist. The numbers were in his favor that I would have a Windows-based computer. When you get the call, or the new version when this one stops paying off, just ask nice dumb questions, and it will become very clear, very fast, than the caller isn’t what he claims. Then either hang up, or explain to Mike that there are better phone bank jobs in answering tech support calls than in dialing out for fake malware cleanups.

Nigerian Letter? No, it’s a Hopeless Dream!

Here’s the latest twist on the now-classic Nigerian Letter. The names in this letter are real people who really do hold jobs in the United Nations, but don’t blame either of them; they didn’t send this letter–it arrived today from an email service in Italy! (Ms. Lapointe is Canadian.) And yes, the letter does admit that it’s all a Hopeless Dream. (1st paragraph, below)

For those who don’t know–it’s a scam. They want fees to send inheritance or winnings, or want you to cash a counterfeit check for them. More information is available at the Internet Crime Complaint Center, here:
(Scroll down to the section “Nigerian Letter or ‘419’”)

From: Ms. Carman L. Lapointe.
Internal Audit,Monitoring,Consulting And Investigations Division.

My name is Ms. Carman L. Lapointe, from the United Nations. It is a distinct pleasure to write you again and as you are well aware many foreigners have invested thousands of United States Dollars into Nigeria transactions in Hopeless Dreams to have none of them become a reality.

Right now, as directed by our secretary general Mr.Ban Ki-Moon, We have agreed with the Nigeria Government that US$100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) would be paid to you through the Western Union Money Transfer Via special arrangement as first installment.

This is to enable you have enough funds to pay for the Tax Clearance and bank charges before you will receive the balance of US$4.1M (Four Million One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only). Please take note that you will pay US$185 only, being Notarization fee and this is the only financial obligation that you will undertake to receive the US$100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) through the Western Union Money Transfer.

Lastly,i will like you to reconfirm your information to me such as your full name, address and telephone number so that I will proceed with your Western Union Money Transfer within the next 24 hrs and the transaction information will be released to you.

I await your response for further proceedings.

Sincerely yours,

Ms. Carman L. Lapointe
United Nations

Careful again: FedEx Doesn’t Leave Your Package at the Post Office

Here’s another sample of what’s not safe to open.
Again, the clues are clear, if you’re careful before you click:
Fake FedEx notice

  • There are punctuation and grammar errors in the message.
  • The link that you’ll see when floating the mouse over that ‘Print Label’ link doesn’t match the ‘from’ domain, and isn’t
  • European date format used by a US-based company.
  • The logo is a bad jagged paste, and is missing the circle-R symbol for ‘registered trademark’.
  • FedEx has no pickup service at their competitor, the “nearest” US Post Office.

Continue reading Careful again: FedEx Doesn’t Leave Your Package at the Post Office