With little fanfare, this month the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opened up a request for comments regarding our Federal anti-spam law, known as CAN-SPAM. For those who are not aware, the U.S. is the only first-world country that has not outlawed the practice of adding someone to a mailing list without first obtaining their express permission.
There is an evil new phishing spam going around that is using Google Docs to do its dirty work. The subject is along the lines of “(Someone) has shared a document on Google Docs with you” – in many of the samples it is ‘Brett Schager has shared a document on Google Docs with you.” Many of the samples are also sent “to” firstname.lastname@example.org (you receive it because you are in the bcc: field).
We love reporting spammers. It’s such a satisfying feeing to report a spamer, especially when you get a response back saying that the spammer has been nuked. But many people don’t know how to report spam email. So we thought that we would share the love with you, and tell you how to report a spammer.
If you received a text message or email telling you that “Account might be blocked for your security!” DON’T click on any link or respond to it! The spam message comes from email@example.com, which should be a tip-off, but in case you’re not sure, it’s a scam!
A new malware scam is hitting email inboxes. The email sample that we have comes from an email address at thomaskeller.com (ours is specifically from firstname.lastname@example.org), and claims to have received an invoice from your company. They even include your company name in the email, making it seem more legit. But it isn’t.
If you’re being plagued by cell text message spam (cell txt msg spam) like this one we received from 702-541-4047 – “Do you have $20,000+ in CREDIT CARD DEBT? Our national program REDUCES it by HALF! Reply “DEBT” to see if you qualify! (cuturdebts.com-optout,reply:out)” – you’re not alone. (What is SMS? Short Message Service SMS service is a way to send short text messages directly to a cell phone). The problem is that those unwanted SMS messages that you see as cell phone spam, the sender sees as an SMS campaign. Those rude SMS text messages – often anonymous SMS text messages – are bulk SMS messages sent by the SMS sender as a text message advertising campaign (often facilitated by free SMS text message services). Sending SMS text messaging spam is illegal in most states, but figuring out how to go about reporting spam received on your cell phone can be tough. Here’s how to submit your spam that you receive via SMS message to the right authorities, as well as how to stop it. (Bonus: The elusive Verizon customer service phone number!)
Wondering how to opt-out of LinkedIn Sponsored Inmail (which we here refer to as LinkedIn spam)? When you get unwanted LinkedIn InMail email from an individual, you can hit “report as spam” on it. But when you get a sponsored message, you don’t have that option (because, of course, LinkedIn has sold that access to your LinkedIn inbox to whomever sent you that message).
Confused by a confirmation of a new Amazon “Prime Acct Gift” order that landed in your inbox today, when you know that you haven’t placed any such order? You’re not alone. The order with the subject ‘New-order #20953735 – confirmed’ (although the order number on yours may be different) from email@example.com (although your ‘from’ address may be different) is 100% a scam.
LinkedIn has ramped up their promotional message program – also known as sponsored messages (or as some call it, LinkedIn spam). Promotional messages, explains LinkedIn, are “from a marketing or hiring partner and was sent to you based on your browsing activity or non-personal information such as job title, primary industry, or region.” Here’s how to make it stop.
A spam run that appears to be from Kohl’s department store went out this week, advising of a special delivery order from Kohl’s, leading people to believe that an order was placed in their name.
Members of USAA insurance and banking programs have been receiving email that appears to come from USAA (which stands for United Services Automobile Association), but which are actually phishing scams. The scam email comes from the nonexistent domain usaaservice.com (such as from “USAA.ServiceAccount@usaaservice.com”).
As we have noted a couple of times in the past few weeks, spammers and scammers are using the email mailing list confirmation process to send spam. Here’s how that works: someone signs up for a mailing list, and then replies to the confirmation request with their spam. In this case, Amy Happy at firstname.lastname@example.org, seems to be replying to a confirmation message that she, in fact, never received in the first place.
Add email@example.com as the newest scammer spamming mailing lists. As we mentioned last week, scammers have started signing up for mailing lists in order to spam the list members with their scams. (Our samples come from Aweber mailing lists.) Last week it was supposedly David Norris, leasing his house in Troy, Michigan, with a contact number of (509) 255-3270. This week it’s the supposed Rev. Gary Williams, with a house in Warwick, New York, with a contact number of (502) 536-8106.