About the Amazon Gift Card in Your Mailbox Scam

If you receive what appears to be an Amazon gift card in the mail (in your actual mailbox), exhorting you to “scratch and match” and call a number like 855-544-9400 or 855-270-6163 or another 855 number, DON’T DO IT! This scam from “PTL” is a ploy to get your personal details and then get you into a local business where you can be pressured to part with your money.

What is Neighbor Spoofing, Why People Fall for It and How to Thwart It

Have you ever received a spam or scam phone call from your own number? This is a version of spoofing telephone numbers known as ‘neighbor spoofing’, ‘neighborhood spoofing’, or ‘neighbour spoofing’ if you are outside the U.S.. Neighbor spoofing involves the scammers spoofing telephone numbers such that it appears you are receiving a telephone call from nearby (that’s the ‘neighbor’ in ‘neighbor spoofing’) – and sometimes their computer will accidentally spoof your own number.

URGENT WARNING: IRS and Social Security Administration Scam Phone Calls on the Rise

The number of scam calls claiming to be from either the IRS or the Social Security Administration (SSA), and claiming that they have found “suspicious activity” with your SSN, and that they are going to “suspend your social security number” seems to have skyrocketed in the past month. They come from all sorts of phone numbers (some included below), but they all seem to carry the same message.

Warning: Beware Fake DHL Email Notice

The Internet Patrol was recently tipped off to a fake DHL notice that is making the rounds. The fake DHL notification is relatively easy to detect IF you do not have the use of ‘friendly name’ enabled, and instead see the actual ‘from’ email address, which is admin@vedadas.tk, or some version thereof. (The .tk domain is Tokelau, a territory of New Zealand.)

WARNING: Having Email Display Sender’s Contact Image and Info Helps Scammers Get in Through the Cracks

Every webmail service out there, be it Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, or other, encourages you to upload or merge your contacts with their system. And most Mac and PC email programs automatically cross-reference an incoming email sender with their entry in your contacts. The result is often that their contact profile picture, and ‘friendly’ name, is displayed as the sender of that email in your inbox.

The Netflix Text Message Scam

If you have received a text message claiming to be from Netflix, and telling you that “We have a new policy in place, please visit and review today”, along with a link and, possibly, a random set of characters in parenthesis such as “(ybpldcjyop)”, it is definitely a scam, do NOT click on it! The text message may also appear to come from phone number 141-010-0001 or just 410100001, but even if it comes from another number, it is definitely a scam.

An Example of an Internet Extortion Email

Online computer extortion and blackmail is nothing new. You may have heard about big companies being extorted for hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even more, in order to keep their companies from being blackmailed over something, and being brought down by a DDOS, or having some scandal (either real or fabricated) made public. Some such activity comes in the form of ransomware (where your files get locked or wiped and then you have to pay to be able to access them and get them back), and some comes in the form of plain old blackmail, such as the example below.