As we march through the pivotal election year of 2024, a formidable shadow looms over the democratic process. This shadow is not cast by a person or an institution, but by a technology: Artificial Intelligence (AI). Once celebrated as a beacon of innovation, AI now stands accused of distorting the very fabric of truth, particularly in the political arena.
Just the other day, I received a voicemail that raised my suspicions immediately. It claimed to be from the “National Tax Relief Program,” offering to help clear back taxes. Intrigued and a bit wary, I decided to dig deeper into this, and what I found was a classic scam playing out. Here’s a rundown of the call and why you should be on high alert if you receive a similar one.
You might be wondering what’s up with the title of this article. Well, grab a cup of coffee and let me introduce you to a mind-bending concept known as the Dead Internet Theory. It’s a bit like the plot of a sci-fi movie, except it’s unfolding right here on the World Wide Web. But don’t wory, I’ll break it down for you in a friendly, informal way, with a dash of humor to keep things light. So buckle up, and let’s dive into the intriguing world of the Dead Internet Theory.
A huge batch of scam text messages with links going to onlinehome.us have been going out, phishing for your Amazon, Netflix, Venmo, and other credentials. Many of them appear to include the strings “membershpspprt” or “mailspprtaccnt” in the ‘from’ field, suggesting that they are all part of a bot effort using the same script or scripts.
Twitter began skipping rent payments on its San Francisco headquarters, and putting office supplies up for auction under new CEO Elon Musk as the social media company looks to strengthen its financial position, according to sources.
Highly targeted scam calls aren’t always obviously a scam. I don’t know about you, but I associate scam calls with thick accents, broken English, and other obvious identifiers, which aren’t always present.
A new American Express credit card identity theft phishing scam is being sent out in spam email. The subject line is “A recent charge attempt requires your attention” with a random number, so that the subject of our sample reads “A recent charge attempt requires your attention 688836786” The spam goes on to ask “did you recently use your card?”
Below is the newest eBay phishing email example, sent out and received on June 21, 2022. Don’t fall for these sorts of eBay scams! If you receive an email from eBay (or anywhere) about an order that you know you didn’t place, delete it! Now of course, the scammers know that you know that you didn’t place the order; what they are counting on is you panicking and thinking that someone else has placed an order in your name, using your credit card information. And they are counting on you clicking the link to “the order” so you can tell eBay that there must be some mistake. Of course, it’s not really eBay to which that link leads: you’ve fallen right into their trap.
Millions of people are receiving the Costco survey reward email scam, with Costco survey rewards of “up to $100” promised. Others get email promising a “Costco survey free gift”. They are all scams, don’t fall for them!
Paypal, the parent company of Venmo, recently announced plans to increase prices for the “instant transfer” service, affecting both of their popular financial applications (Paypal and Venmo).
The service, an “instant transfer”, essentially allows you to transfer some or all of the balance in your Venmo or Paypal account to your bank account or debit card in seconds. Paypal and Venmo already charge for this service, but soon it will be even more!
Typically when someone receives an unexpected call or text message that appears to be from their bank, and being savvy and wary of fraud and scams, one of the first things that they will do is Google the phone number that shows in the Caller ID to confirm that it really is someone from their bank who is calling or texting them. And that is why scammers who are committing bank fraud and phishing have become adept at spoofing their own Caller ID to make it appear to actually be coming from their target’s bank.
A new Paypal invoice scam uses Paypal’s own invoicing system, so that the email actually really comes from Paypal, and has real Paypal links. In fact, the only thing that doesn’t really go back to Paypal is the phone number (855-607-2935 in our example below), which is manned by the scammers pretending to be, and answering the phone as, Paypal. Here’s how it works.
Every year, millions of reports of fraud are filed, while even more cases of fraud go unreported due to a multitude of factors. There’s no way to be sure how much money is lost yearly to fraud, scams, and spam, either. However, for perspective, American consumers lost about $56 Billion to identity fraud in 2020. Nobody is immune to a conman, and oftentimes, by the time you start to have second thoughts, you’ve already wired the money somewhere. Here are three huge indicators that you may be dealing with something you need to reconsider, before you pay a price.
Scam Alert: Do Not Call “Amazon Billing and Fraud Prevention” or “An Apple Advisor” if Asked in a Phone Message
The Amazon billing and fraud prevention scam is back in full force, along with the Apple advisor “your iCloud account has been breached” scam. Each of these scams rely on pre-recorded calls to your phone, and then enticing you to call the “Amazon billing and fraud prevention” department, or an “Apple support advisor,” respectively.
Some version of “Spider Man breaks web” is all over the news today. “Spider-Man breaks the web,” said ABC. “Fans Break the Internet After ‘Spider-Man 3’ Trailer Leaks” says Inside the Magic. “No Way Home breaks the web with the official trailer,” says Celeb Mix. “Marvel Breaks the Internet with Release of Spider-Man,” says Epic Stream; and “Spider-Man breaks the web” echoes Yahoo News.